In a dead rubber at the Asia Cup Super Four match in Colombo, Shubman Gill showcased his exceptional batting prowess, exhibiting remarkable calm and composure as he notched up a well-deserved century for Team India. Gill faced tremendous pressure as the team lost quick wickets pursuing a target of 266. However, despite his heroic efforts, India fell short by a narrow margin of six runs, with Bangladesh emerging victorious.
The 24-year-old’s monumental achievement didn’t end with his century, as he became the first player to amass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023. Moreover, he solidified his reputation as the batter with the most international hundreds in 2023, boasting an impressive tally of five. Reflecting on the challenging conditions of the pitch, he acknowledged,
“On slow wickets, there are a lot of dot balls. Our chat as a batting group is to reduce dot balls and rotate strike. The track was slow and was taking turns, so taking singles was not easy, especially for new batters. The talk was about playing it late and close to the body.” Gill said in the press conference as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
It was not the first time India’s batters had grappled with spin. In a previous encounter against Sri Lanka, they found themselves entangled in Dunith Wellalage‘s left-arm spin web. The recurring theme of slow pitches and the difficulties in dealing with spin prompted the India opener to comment,
“Area we are looking to improve on” Further adding, “We had a camp in Bangalore before coming here and practised on similar surfaces. The World Cup is such a long tournament, and as we go deep into the tournament, the wickets will get slower. It is not easy for batsmen coming in to rotate strike and minimize dot balls. That’s what as a batting unit and bowling group we are looking to overcome.”
‘That was a miscalculation on my side’ – Gill on his dismissal against Bangladesh
As the match reached its climax, the prince, after reaching his century, attempted to accelerate the run rate. With the asking rate climbing to over nine runs per over in the final seven overs, the Punjab batter played a fateful shot, slog-sweeping Mahedi Hasan over cow corner before succumbing to a catch at long-off on the next delivery. Reflecting on this crucial moment, he admitted,
“There’s so much adrenaline when you are batting, sometimes you miscalculate. That was a miscalculation on my side. When you got out, you saw there was a lot of time left. If I had batted a bit normally or not that aggressively, we should have been able to get over the line,” Gill concluded.