Apparently, Sharma, who never takes a backward step himself while batting, was surprised at his young colleague’s devil-may-care attitude. That too after spending almost two full days fielding under a harsh sun.
“He (Sharma) was a little surprised. But I said that was my shot. If the off-spinner is bowling on a good wicket and the field is up, that is my shot and I was confident I will hit him for a boundary (six),” said Gill after scoring 128 on Saturday.
Clearly, the six off Lyon was a shot of a man who has ice running in his veins. His innings earned praise from Australia’s premier spinner.
“The way Shubman played was exceptional, to be honest. The way he went about it was special. He’s definitely a special player,” said Lyon, who has seen Gill from close quarters in the epic 2020-21 series in Australia.
Gill batted as if there were no edges in his bat. Almost everything was greeted with the middle of the willow. On a pitch where the ball wasn’t coming on, he was willing to bide his time instead of playing his natural attacking game.
He made a few adjustments like standing out of the crease while trying to negate the little reverse swing Australian quicks Mitchell Starc and Cameron Green were getting.
Of his maiden Test 💯 in India to making the most of batting at the Narendra Modi Stadium 🏟️ Presenting a conversa… https://t.co/5pXCohuvv6
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1678589973000
For a batsman who has been raised on a heavy appetite of white-ball cricket, his patience when things were not going his way in the harsh afternoon sun was simply remarkable.
“There was a phase where we didn’t hit a boundary for a while and at that time, you had to tell yourself that it’s okay if you are not getting runs now, but if you stick to your processes then there will be an over where you will get 2-3 boundaries. So, the process is not to lose patience, you can get out but also you might be
able to get boundaries,” said Gill.
The man from Punjab has scored five international hundreds across three formats since January. It was only five weeks ago that he made a blistering 63-ball 126 against New Zealand at this venue after scoring his first Test hundred in Bangladesh.
He, however, had to wait to get into the XI for the first two Tests as the team management were backing KL Rahul to come good.
Having lost his place in the squad after failing in the rescheduled fifth Test against England last year, Gill said that he had reworked his approach to batting.
“I felt I was getting over-defensive after getting set. I was putting myself under pressure thinking I must convert those starts. I realised I had to free myself from any pressure and keep my game free-flowing,” he said.