Shubman Gill became third-highest run-scorer on Test debut for India in Australia, but it could have been so much more had there not been for a lapse in concentration. Gill had moved to 45 before edging a ball from Pat Cummins to Tim Paine. Gill’s innings was cut short having scored 45 off 65 balls and the 21-year-old was gutted to give his wicket away.
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“I’m not really happy with the way I got out. It was the last ball of Cummins’s spell and I should have seen it off. It was a loose shot to play at that moment. But overall, my goal was to play with intent and build partnerships, and I managed it to an extent,” Gill said via a virtual press conference after stumps on Day 2.
“When I came in to bat, there was something in the pitch and the pitch was lively. The only thing which I told myself was that no matter what’s happening on the pitch or what’s happening around me, I should be able to play my game and I should be able to express myself, play with intent. That was my thought process throughout my innings.”
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This may be Gill’s first Test match for India but it isn’t the first time he has been named in the Indian squad. In fact, it was in September 2019 that Gill earned his maiden Test call-up for India, but despite being on the sidelines, the youngster absorbed whatever he could watching his experienced peers play.
“I’ve been travelling with the team for the last four-five Test series. Being with the team, it helped me a lot. To be able to settle in the team,” he said. “I’ve been doing all my net sessions and practice sessions, to be able to play someone like Boom (Bumrah), Shami bhai, Umesh bhai or Ishant bhai in the nets, it’s a huge confidence booster for a youngster to be playing against a top bowling attack in the nets. When I went out to bat today, I didn’t really feel like I was in a whole new place.”
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At last, Gill weighed in on the star of the day for India, his captain for this series Ajinkya Rahane, who scored a scintillating century to put his team ahead against Australia in the Boxing Day Test. For a youngster playing his first Test, there can’t be a bigger learning curve than watching his captain marvel against one of the best bowling attacks in the world.
“This knock was all about patience. He was patient, and more importantly when you are playing such a high-quality bowling attack, sometimes you go in that shell and you are not able to score runs. The way Ajinkya bhai played, it was such a magnificent knock to watch from outside. How to see off those tough periods, the loose balls that he was getting he was making sure he was putting all of them away,” Gill said.