Abhishek Sharma smashed India's joint third-fastest T20I century against Zimbabwe, bludgeoning three sixes in a row to get to the milestone in his second international appearance. Here is a list of the Indian players with the fastest centuries in the format, and the balls they took to get to the mark.

India fans have had the good fortune to be able to witness some of the world's best white-ball batters turn out for their team in recent years. With the enterprising Abhishek Sharma, who struck his 484 IPL runs for Sunrisers Hyderabad at a strike rate over 200, now joining the proliferating list of Indian batters with blistering T20I hundreds, it is only a matter of time before we see the list of Indian batters with thumping centuries expand again.

Until that happens, though, there have now been seven occasions where an Indian batter has smashed a T20I century in 50 balls or fewer. Here's a list of all these instances, starting with India's quickest century in the format. 

India's T20I centuries: The top seven in men's cricket

Rohit Sharma: 35 balls, India v Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tour of India, 2017

Three years after smashing what remains the highest individual score in ODI cricket history – a scarcely-believable 264 against Sri Lanka – the man with the most T20I runs for India set another record against the same opposition; this time a 43-ball 118, which included 12 fours and 10 sixes. He reached the mark in 35 balls, setting Sri Lanka a mammoth target of 261, which the touring side fell short of by 88 runs. 

Suryakumar Yadav: 45 balls, India v Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka tour of India, 2023

There are not many players more exciting to watch than Mumbai's Suryakumar Yadav when he's at his belligerent best. Yadav put his enviable range of shots and astounding hitting ability on full display on this occasion, as he reached three figures in just 45 balls on his way to 112*, in an innings that saw him hit nine sixes – more than all the Sri Lankan batters put together. 

KL Rahul: 46 balls, India v West Indies, India tour of the West Indies and the United States, 2016

He may find himself out of India's T20I side now, but eight years ago, Rahul smashed what was, at the time, the fastest T20I century by an Indian batter. He scored his unbeaten 110 against a strong West Indian bowling attack that included Andre Russell, Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine. Despite his heroics, India fell short of the West Indies' first innings total of 245 by one run.

Abhishek Sharma: 46 balls, India v Zimbabwe, India tour of Zimbabwe, 2024

The IPL's latest batting sensation has put his hand up to follow in Rohit Sharma's footsteps and become India's next belligerent opening batter in the shortest format by equalling Rahul's third-fastest T20I century in just his second innings for India. Coming in under some pressure after a debut duck in a game that India lost, Abhishek smashed eight sixes, including three in succession, to get to the three-figure mark.

Suryakumar Yadav: 48 balls, India v England, India tour of England, 2022

The second of the only two innings on this list that came in a losing cause, Suryakumar Yadav was utterly magnificent, taking India to a respectable 198. Chasing 216, the game would have been an England mauling without his efforts. Yadav scored over half of India's runs, being dismissed for 117 in an innings where no other Indian batter crossed 30. 

Yashasvi Jaiswal: 48 balls, India v Nepal, Asian Games, 2023

India's all-format batting sensation showed why he is in the reckoning to make India's competitive opening spot his own when he smashed a 48-ball century against Nepal in Hangzhou. No other batter from either side managed even fifty, and Jaiswal's innings was the difference between the teams, as India won by 23 runs. 

Suryakumar Yadav: 49 balls, India v New Zealand, India tour of New Zealand, 2022

In India's first T20 following their 10-wicket defeat against England in the semi-final of the 2022 T20 World Cup, Suryakumar Yadav struck 11 fours and seven sixes against the Kiwis at Mount Maunganui in an innings that also saw Tim Southee take a final over hattrick. After getting to the three-figure mark with a boundary on the 49th ball he faced, he smashed 10 more off his next two deliveries to end unbeaten on 111. India won the match comfortably, with New Zealand barely surpassing Yadav's score in their chase. 

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