Shubman Gill – ‘Very important and satisfying to be able to score runs at No. 3’


Shubman Gill broke out of a run of poor form in Test cricket with his third century, against England in Visakhapatnam. Until this innings – 104 off 147 balls – he had crossed 35 only once in the last 12 innings. Considering that at some point – even if not in this series – that Virat Kohli, KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja will be back as first-choice picks, there was considerable pressure on the No. 3 batter as he began his knock today with the score of 29 for 1 and then slipping to 30 for 2.

“It was very important and very satisfying for me to be able to score runs at No. 3,” Gill said in the press conference. “And it felt pretty good, especially with the situation. We lost Yashasvi and Rohit [Sharma] bhai – they’ve been giving us really good starts at the top of the order. I think it was important for us to get a big lead and to be able to get as many runs as possible.”

Gill said he didn’t really take any external pressure onto himself despite the string of low scores. “I think that’s part and parcel of the game. You do well and everybody’s going to applaud you. You don’t do well, everybody’s doing to… But I think the important thing is to be able to know what you’re going to do when you go into bat. I’m someone who likes to see the situation, play according to the situation and take chances and I think play percentage cricket.

“It’s very important to stay true to who you are and how you’ve got runs. Sometimes when you’re trying to be over-defensive or over-aggressive and try to be something that you’re not, then you are prolonging those innings and you’re sometimes not able to get out of that shell. And that was my thinking going into this Test match. I’m going to play the way I’ve played before.”

Usually, a Gill century comes with a bow upon reaching the landmark but this time there wasn’t one. “Obviously it felt good. I just thought the job was not done for the team. That’s’ why it was a little minute celebration.”

There was a chance that he might have been dismissed for 4 though when he was given out lbw to Tom Hartley by umpire Marais Erasmus. He needed the help of DRS to save him and he admitted that it was his batting partner who convinced him to go for it. There were other close calls as well but he survived them.

“Definitely the first one, which I nicked, actually I didn’t feel it,” Gill told the host broadcaster. “Shreyas [Iyer] on the other hand told me to take the review just in case it was umpire’s call and once I saw it on the big screen, the deflection, I was really pleased.”

Gill thanked the coaching staff for backing him and said that India were leading the game 70-30 going into the fourth day.

“The support I’ve got from Rohit bhai and Rahul [Dravid] sir and especially Vikram [Rathore] sir as well. They are the ones who have always kept me motivated and always believed in me. And when you have guys like that motivating you, you are always going to be on top of your game.”

Gill’s father was in the crowd as well and he thinks he might be in for a bit of a scolding when he meets him back at the hotel because he fell reverse-sweeping when the tea break was approaching.

“I saw the point fielder go there and I thought on that wicket it was a percentage shot but maybe not in that situation when there were five-six overs to tea. Maybe I should’ve just played those overs and got the runs after tea.”

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