Scoring a century at the iconic Lord’s is undoubtedly a dream for any batsman in the world but not everyone manages to get his name etched on the iconic venue’s honour boards. Even Sachin Tendulkar, who has a record hundred international tons, could not score a ton at the Home of Cricket.
Well, former India fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar surprisingly managed to achieve that feat. Ajit Agarkar scored a magnificent century against England in 2002. With India chasing a huge target of 568 runs in the second innings of the first Test match of the series, Ajit Agarkar showed remarkable fight.
He fought till the end as he combined with tailenders like Anil Kumble and Ashish Nehra to score 109 runs off 190 balls. And Ajit Agarkar used that century to have some banter with Australia great Ricky Ponting. During a recent interaction with Gaurav Kapoor on 22 Yarns podcast, he recalled how he never teased Tendulkar for not having a century at Lord’s but once had some banter with former Australian captain Ponting.
“I did [rib] quietly to Ricky Ponting once, when he was playing at KKR with me. Just laughingly asked him, ‘How many hundreds at Lord’s ya?’” Ajit Agarkar said during the podcast recalling his time with Ponting at the Kolkata Knight Riders.
“But look, those guys, I would easily swap my one hundred for what they’ve achieved. It’d be too disrespectful to ask them that. But it’s always fun, I was lucky enough to get a hundred there. It’s a special memory,” he added.
He further said that he owes his century to Nehra. The former pacer faced 54 balls to help Agarkar reach the triple-digit mark.
“If somebody sees the first innings, he (Ashish Nehra) went in as nightwatchman, and got hit about four times – twice on his pads, once on his ribs off Flintoff, and fifth ball he was out. If you watched that first innings, nobody would believe he held on for… I think he was eventually 20-odd in that innings,” recalled Agarkar.
“Once I got my hundred, he even told me, ‘Don’t get out, I want to try and get my fifty’! I remember him whacking Flintoff, pulled him a ball after I got my hundred. It hit one of the hospitality boxes, and came back on the ground. I owe my hundred to him,” he added.
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