Delhi opening batsman Rishabh Pant etched his name in the record books on Sunday as he smashed a 32-ball hundred against Himachal Pradesh in a Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy fixture. Pant’s ton is the fastest century ever scored by an Indian batsman in a 20-over match, and the second fastest in the world, next only to Chris Gayle’s 30-ball hundred. He went on to hammer 116* runs in 38 balls with the help of eight fours and 12 sixes and played at a strike rate of over 300. Delhi went on to beat their opponents by 10 wickets on the back of his heroics.
Speaking about his innings, the left-handed batsman said that he feels good about being included in the record books. “Obviously, I felt good about it when I came to know, you always do, when that happens. Last season (2016-17 season) too, I had scored the fastest first-class hundred in India and then this year (2017-18 season) in T20; so yes, it feels good to see your name in the record books.”
Pant added that he does not feel play for records and just looks to score runs. “But one doesn’t play for records. I try to perform and while doing that records happen…. like Virat bhai (Kohli) keeps scoring (I try to do the same). Records happen if you keep scoring, so at the end of the day, if you are scoring runs then everything is good,” he said.
The 20-year old, who led Delhi in the Ranji Trophy this season, further reflected on his form and said he was looking to play a longer innings for a while. “(While) every run that I score is important, I have been trying to score big for some time (now). I was only getting to 30/40/50/60 runs but wasn’t getting a big score. It was going on for some time like that. I was batting well but wasn’t able to convert it into big scores so that is what I was trying to do; to convert the knock into a big one and that happened today,” he said.
Pant added that it took him a while to understand the wicket but added that he capitalised after he started middling the ball. “The wicket was good for batting. I started off normally. I even left two-three balls when I got a good delivery, but then I was middling the ball well and runs began to flow and I capitalised on that,” he said.
With Delhi climbing to the top position of their group table with the win, Pant said he looks to make contributions in any way he can to help his side. “The team is doing well and that’s what matters. I look to contribute in any way I can. If the batting isn’t coming off well then take a good catch while fielding or help to get a run out and try to contribute in whatever way possible,” he said.