After he wasn’t picked up for India A's tour of Australia earlier this year, the young wicketkeeper-batsman from Delhi vowed to score tons of runs in the upcoming season.
"I was hurt after not being picked for India A's tour of Australia. I then promised myself that I should be scoring so much runs that no one can ignore me," the stockily built Rishabh Pant had then said.
Months later, the heartbroken 20-year-old first hit a triple hundred against Maharashtra and has now batted himself into the record books as he struck the fastest ever hundred by an Indian in a first-class game by hitting a 48-ball ton against Jharkhand in a Ranji Trophy encounter today.
Pant was finally dismissed for 135 off only 67 balls with eight boundaries and 13 sixes in a game played at Thumba in Kerala.
He has had a staggering season so far having scored 799 runs from seven innings at an astounding average of 133.16 and a strike-rate of 113.17 -- something unheard of over a period of time. This is his fourth hundred of the season. He had already hit 44 sixes this season from 5 games.
His sequences of scores this season are 146, 308, 24, 9, 60, 117, 135.
En route his record breaking ton, Pant eclipsed a 28-year old record set by former Tamil Nadu opener VB Chandrasekhar, who reached the three-figure mark in 56 balls against Rest of India during the Irani Cup match of the 1988-89 series.
Incidentally, that knock helped Chandrasekhar greatly as he made it to the Indian team for the tour of New Zealand in 1990.
In the list of all first-class cricket across the globe, late Australian cricketer David Hooks smashed the fastest hundred off 34 balls during a Sheffield Shield match in 1982.
He was playing for South Australia against Victoria at the Adelaide Oval.
The 20-year-old Pant had hit an 82-ball hundred in the first innings and scored 117 off 106 deliveries.
Today, he came in at the score of 214 for 3 but Delhi were trying to play out the day having taken a lead of 65 runs with seven wickets in hand.
But Pant started in whirlwind fashion and was severe on both left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and off-spinner Sunny Gupta as most of the sixes came off these two spinners.
Most of his 13 sixes were hit in the arc between long-on and long-off as he repeatedly danced down the track to attack the spinners.
Pant also had a few promising knocks for Delhi Daredevils during the last IPL including a man of the match award-winning effort.
The young lad has now made it extremely difficult for selectors to overlook him who were earlier looking at grooming Sanju Samson as Dhoni's understudy in limited-overs cricket.