Tanmay Agarwal fell short of Brian Lara's world record for the highest individual score (501*) in first-class cricket by some distance but he did break the world record for most sixes. The Hyderabad opener, who smashed the fastest triple century in the history of first-class cricket on day 1 of the Ranji Trophy Plate Group match against Arunachala Pradesh at the NexGen Cricket Ground in Hyderabad, was dismissed for 366 on Saturday.
Resuming the day at 323, Agarwal took little time to get to 350. He added five more sixes to his overnight tally of 21 to finish with 26 maximums - the most by a batter in a first-class innings. He went past Colin Munro's 23 sixes. The New Zealand all-rounder had achieved the feat while playing for Auckland against Central Districts in 2015. The third on the list is Afghanistan's Shafiqullah Shinwari, who had hit 22 sixes for Kabul Region against Boost.
To put Tanmay's efforts into perspective in terms of Indian cricket, the previous most number of sixes in a first-class innings was 14 jointly held by Ishan Kishan and Shakti Singh.
Agarwal's 366 is the joint fourth-highest first-class score by an Indian along with MV Sridhar. The record for the highest score stands with BB Nimbalkar, who hit an unbeaten 443 in a Ranji Trophy match between Maharashtra and Kathiawar. That is also the only instance of a quadruple century in Ranji Trophy.
Agarwal finished with 366 off just 181 balls hitting 34 fours and 26 sixes, scoring at a strike rate of 202.21. Hyderabad declared their first innings at 615 for 5 in just 59.3 overs with a lead of 443. Their innings run rate was more than 10 runs per over.
Tanmay was not eyeing Brian Lara's 501*
So when did he come to know about the world record? "After the end of the day's play... From teammates to my family, everyone is very happy," Agarwal, who already has 11 first-class tons before this record, added.
So what does he make of his triple hundred considering the quality of opposition? "When you compare with Elite teams, this kind of feat is not possible, but I didn't think about the quality of the opposition and kept playing the way I had to.
"The world record just happened. Nothing was planned. There were no plans that I would do this and that. It just happened," said Agarwal, who has played all his cricket for Hyderabad.
Tanmay was not even thinking of going past the legendary Lara's unbeaten 501. "No, I am not because I don't know how much longer we will be batting on Saturday. As long as I bat tomorrow, I will try to play like I started the innings today. If it happens, it happens. I don't have in mind that I have to achieve this or that," Agarwal sounded nonchalant.
Tanmay Agarwal may have broken multiple records but the lopsided contest against a north-eastern side once again raised questions about directly integrating them into Ranji Trophy where records are being broken at monotonic regularity.