Never thought I’d achieve something like this: Paras Dogra on record-breaking eighth double-century
Paras Dogra has overtaken Abhay Sharma to score the maximum double-centuries in Ranji Trophy. (PTI Image)

Paras Dogra walloped 253 off 244 balls against Sikkim to help solidify Puducherry in their Plate fixture of the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy. Although Dogra is no stranger to playing marathon innings, this knock in particular holds plenty of significance. Dogra’s 253 is not only his highest score in Ranji Trophy but also a record-breaking one. This is the eight occasion a player has amassed a double-century in the history of Ranji Trophy, overtaking Abhay Sharma’s tally of seven double centuries.

ALSO READ: Paras Dogra’s 253 leads Puducherry to 418/4

“I never thought I would achieve something like this. This feels really good. I’m just enjoying my cricket. I just want to keep it going and score as many runs as possible,” Dogra told “In the beginning, it was a little difficult to bat. Ishwar [Pandey] was bowling well and generating some movement with the new ball. But as the ball got old, it became easy to bat. It was one of the better wickets to bat on, but I think it will start breaking tomorrow onward. Today itself it was turning a little.”

ALSO READ: Dogra relishing Puducherry challenge

Having started his Ranji Trophy career during the 2001-2002 season for Himachal Pradesh – a side he would go to and serve for 17 long years – Dogra explained how he’s never put individual achievements ahead of the team’s interest.

“I never thought I’d even play a Ranji Trophy, let alone eight double centuries. But yes, it obviously helps when you have runs to show for your effort. Records are not something I play for, I just love batting and it’s always been about spending time in the middle for me. I am still enjoying my game. When you start thinking about these numbers on a personal front, it may sometimes shift your focus from the process,” he said.

Between 2010 and 2016, Dogra has averaged over 50 in all barring one season. His most prolific run was during the 2012-13 season, where he accumulated 960 runs at 80 with five centuries. Two years later, he tallied 839 runs from eight matches, averaging over 100, and followed it with 703 runs from eight games the season later.

So what goes into converting a hundred into a daddy hundred?

“It’s about wanting to go on,” he said. “Sometimes when you score a century, players feel they’ve achieved something. But then again, there is so much time after that. It’s all about spending time in the middle. With the kind of hardwork youngsters are putting these days in the nets, batting out in the middle has no equal. Go out there with a mindset of lasting 90 overs. It’s not about scoring a century or a double, there is no much to learn just by being out there.”

Dogra had failed with the bat in the previous match, but it was more about Puducherry tasting a slice of history as they beat Mizoram by an innings and 238 runs to secure their first victory in the history of Ranji Trophy. Dogra revealed that the win was a huge confidence booster and shrugged away any ounce of self-doubts that may have existed. “The celebrations were mild, since we know we have a long road ahead. But of course, first ever Ranji Trophy win; it makes us feel that we do belong here after all. We are keen to play the quarter-final, finish top in the table and play in a better group next year,” said Dogra.

Dogra’s knock has already propelled Puducherry to 418 for 4 at stumps, and with the surface beginning to wear out, the idea is get Puducherry’s spinners in action as soon as possible.

“We will try and score above 500 and then it’s up to our bowlers,” Dogra revealed. “The target is an outright victory. With the surface already breaking, it will get tough for the batsmen to bat on. It has started turning already, so I believe our spinners will get a lot of benefit.”