Ever improving Shubhman Gill adds another layer to his batting


Shubhman Gill notched up his 2nd career test hundred at the Narendra Modi stadium against a potent Australian attack on Saturday. Gill was unbeaten on 18 last night and carried on where he left off yesterday.

Gill started the day with an authoritative disdainful cover drive against Mitchell Starc which was itself the telling sign that the batter was in for a big one. Starc coming from round the wicket pitched the ball up but not on a drivable length, Shubhman Gill cared the ball through the covers which reached the fence in a few seconds and none of the fielders moved.

The Australian spearhead employed a short ball ploy but to no avail. Gill backed away outside the leg stump to a short delivery and thumped it to the left of mid off reminding everyone about his heroes at the Gabba. Gill then manufactured a short arm jab which raced away to a boundary on a delivery that was never meant to be pulled.

The 23-year-old continued to play some remarkable drives in his patient inning of 128 runs off 235 balls. You are in for a treat when Shubhamn Gill is batting with breathtaking strokes in each part of the ground. Whenever he plays, you are bound to get awestruck by his ability to make runs scoring very easy.

But today, we saw a different facet in the ever-improving Shubhman Gill. He was happy to bid time, soak in pressure and test himself technically against a high-quality Aussie attack. On other days, Shubhman could have thrown away his wicket in. getting quick runs, impatiently playing a false stroke. But today, when Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green were getting the ball to reverse with Steve Smith setting unusual fields to top the scoring of runs, the Indian opener was more than happy to play dot balls. In that period after lunch when Pujara and Gill were batting, runs were difficult to come by, when one of the fast bowlers was bowling in tandem with Nathon Lyon.

Tackling Nathon Lyon

Nathon Lyon was bowling exceedingly well from over the wicket landing the ball around the fifth stump and challenging both edges of the bat. Gill was right forward and outside the line of off stump to negate the LBW decision. Whenever the ball was slightly fuller, he drove past mid-on for a single. If the ball was slightly shorter or loopier, Gill milked Lyon for a single on the on side. At times, he was itching to get down the track but resisted himself by respecting the veteran. of Shubhman Gill makes him an even scarier prospect with the sky being the limit for him.

After getting through the tough times, run-scoring became easy and consecutive boundaries in an over instantly calmed things down. He then scored some crisp boundaries and reached the 90s in no time. When he was on 97*, he got a freebie from Murphy The batter got on one knee and swept it over the short fine leg fielder for a boundary to bring his maiden hundred on the home soil. Then he raised the bat to the crowd and did his typical ‘bow down’ celebration.

He again stitched a crucial partnership with Virat Kohli of 58 runs. Kohli was looking scratchy at the start of the innings but Gill made sure that the scoreboard was kept ticking along by playing an occasional reverse sweep or running down the track and hitting a boundary between midwicket and long on. At the end of his inners, the humidity took a toll on him as he was cramping a bit. He got out just when the master-pupil duo was settling along nicely for another big partnership.

Nonetheless, he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands and led a strong foundation for the misfiring Indian middle order to go big tomorrow.

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