Shubman Gill made his Test debut for India in the recently concluded series against Australia and made a statement with terrific knocks. Getting a chance after Prithvi Shaw’s horror-show in Adelaide in the first Test, Gill brought a sense of calm and confidence to the top order by playing commanding strokes and negotiating the difficult conditions and the Aussie pace attack at will.
His knock of 91 on Day 5 of the Gabba Test was especially crucial as it raised hopes of an Indian win after the early loss of Rohit Sharma. Building a good partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, the youngster accelerated and brought the target within reach for the likes of Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar to explode and take India home later on to seal a fantastic series win away from home.
‘He has the natural ability to react a little earlier’ – Pujara on Gill
Pujara spoke about Shubman Gill to ESPNCricinfo and was all praise for him saying, “He is one of the best timers of the ball. He has a natural ability to react to the ball a little earlier. He gets that extra fraction of time to judge the length, the line, and then play his shots, whether it be the pull or a cover drive. He has quick hands and his downswing is so good that even when he defends the ball, with that timing, sometimes, it goes for two or three runs. Sometimes it feels like he is playing with hard hands, but he is so good at his timing.”
Lavishing more praise, he added, “If I speak about his batting technically, it is a double-edged sword. If you remember, he was out a few times against Pat Cummins earlier in the series, caught at gully or slip, but at the same time Gill can play the same ball for two or three. He is managing it really well. He is very talented and I hope he continues to improve because we need good openers. We have been getting good starts in the last couple of Tests matches and that is a big advantage. The way Rohit [Sharma] and Shubman started in Sydney and Brisbane laid a good foundation.”
Gill and Pujara will next be seen in action in the home series against England which begins from February 5 with the first Test in Chennai.