Former India all-rounder Ajit Agarkar holds a batting record that some of the greatest have not been able to achieve: A Test match hundred at Lord's. Getting on the Lord's honours board is something even the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting haven't been able to achieve, whereas Agarkar got his name up there during India's 2002 tour of England, when he scored an unbeaten 109 in the first Test of the series.
Agarkar revealed he once teased Ponting about the century when the two cricketers were playing together for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL. Agarkar admitted that although he could never show it off against his Mumbai teammate Tendulkar, the former quick ensured he once jokingly played the card on 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?'" Agarkar said during the 22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapur podcast.
"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."
That Agarkar registered his maiden international century could not have been possible without a dogged Ashish Nehra at the other end. The pair added 63 runs for the final wicket with Nehra seeing off 54 balls to make sure Agarkar reached his magical three-figure mark. Agarkar found Nehra's support in the second innings more impressive than his eight-ball duck in the first where he came on as a nightwatchman.
"If somebody sees the first innings, he 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," he said.
"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."