Under the leadership of stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane, India dominated the opening day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne. After losing the toss, India bundled up the hosts for 195. Later, debutant Shubman Gill showcased a fearless batting against the likes of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.
After settling down in the middle, the youngster attacked the Australian bowlers with a flurry of boundaries. By the end of day’s play, Gill had scored an unbeaten 28 off 38 deliveries, including 5 fours. Impressed by his batting show, former Indian pacer Ajit Agarkar reckoned that the 21-year-old should have got the opportunity a couple of years back.
“He [Shubman Gill] should have got an opportunity couple of years back. He just looks ready. You can see obviously he has got the potential,” Ajit Agarkar told Sony Sports.
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Despite their bowling excellence, India faced an early blow in the form of Mayank Agarwal’s dismissal. The opener, who made his Test debut at this venue in 2018, was sent packing for a duck by Mitchell Starc in the first over. But Gill, who has replaced Prithvi Shaw in the playing XI, survived a hostile spell and stood strong.
While batting on 4, Gill was dropped by Marnus Labuschagne at the third slip off the bowling of Pat Cummins. However, he didn’t freak out and recollected his confidence with a straight drive thereafter.
Agarkar lauded the newcomer’s self-belief and stated that the young Indian opener will make it count on the second day of the game as well.
“Couldn’t have been easy this little period but just grew in confidence with every ball that he played. Yes, got an opportunity, he has got that little bit of luck which you need at times. Hopefully, he can go on and make that count,” Agarkar added.
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At stumps, India’s score read 36/1 with Gill batting on 28 and Cheteshwar Pujara giving him company on 7. The visitors’ trail by 159 runs with nine wickets in the bag.