Couldn’t sleep out of excitement: Ajay Rohera on record-breaking knock
Ajay Rohera (PTI Image)

Madhya Pradesh batsman Ajay Rohera admitted that the excitement of being on the cusp of breaking Amol Muzumdar’s record for the highest individual score on First-Class debut kept him awake the night before. Playing his maiden FC game, Rohera smashed 267 for Madhya Pradesh and played a key role in the side’s emphatic win over Hyderabad – by an innings and 243 runs.

Rohera finished Day 2 unbeaten on 255, five short of equalling former domestic heavyweight Amol Muzumdar’s record of the highest individual score on FC debut – 260 for Mumbai against Haryana in 1994. On Saturday, Rohera shattered the 24-year-long record when he went past Muzumdar and remained unbeaten on 267.

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“When I was on 255 on the second day, I was told that I was on the cusp of breaking the record. I could not sleep the full night,” Rohera told NewsNation. “I never felt that I could make a record. I just wanted to play and never had any particular goal or record which I wanted to achieve.”

Rohera added that his dad’s words reverberated in his ears when his name was announced for MP’s Playing XI, and that he did not want to let the opportunity go by. “Enjoy your day, enjoy your debut. Keep doing what you do the best,” were his father’s words.

“When my name was announced, I said, ‘Bas, bahut ho gaya (Enough of waiting)’ to myself. Now is the time that I must play well. I did not want to think much. It is not that I had do something differently when selected for the Ranji Trophy side. I primarily wanted to focus on my strengths,” Rohera said.

What made Rohera’s knock sweeter was the result. Riding on his double century, Madhya Pradesh declared their innings on a massive 562 for 4. On the bowling front, Avesh Khan picked up 5 for 30, building on his 7 for 21 in the first innings, to bowl Hyderabad out for 185 to hand MP a big win.