India opener Shubman Gill has admitted that he didn’t expect the ball to reverse-swing immediately after the lunch interval, which resulted in his dismissal after yet another good start. India finished Day 1 of the opening Test against New Zealand on 258 for 4.
After Mayank Agarwal (13 off 28) departed early, 22-year-old Gill notched up his fourth Test fifty to help India reach 82 for 1 at lunch. But just when he and Cheteshwar Pujara (26 off 88) looked poised to build on the bedrock, Gill was bowled through the gate in the very first over after the break. Kyle Jamieson (3 for 47), who was impressive throughout the day, caught the Punjab lad’s inside-edge as the red cherry shattered the stumps.
It was a mirror image of his dismissal to James Anderson in Chennai earlier this year, when the ball went through the gap between bad and pad in similar fashion. Heaping praise on Jamieson’s incisive spells, Shubman Gill stated that he played away from his body since he didn’t expect the SG ball to reverse that early in the day.
“Cricket is all about reading the conditions. Not that it’s difficult to know when the ball starts reverse swinging and especially after lunch, I didn’t expect the ball to reverse swing that early in the game. But that’s the things about Test cricket, you have to read the conditions really fast and in this particular innings, I was not able to read that ball that well,” Gill said at the press conference after the end of day’s play.
“I think he bowled pretty well today, especially in the first spell that he bowled with the new ball. He bowled in pretty areas to me, and especially when I came into bat after lunch, that over was top notch and the whole spell that he bowled, he looked in really good rhythm.”
India were reduced to 145 for 4, but debutant Shreyas Iyer (75* off 136) and Ravindra Jadeja (50* off 100) put on an unbroken 113-run fifth-wicket stand to ensure India evened the honors by the end of the opening day.
“It’s more on the mental side of things rather than technique” – Shubman Gill
While Shubman Gill made a mark on the world stage opening the batting, there were increasing talks to slot him into the middle order coming into this two-Test series. However, after KL Rahul sustained a thigh injury on Tuesday, Gill was reinstated to his usual position.
Asked if there are any statutory changes while going down the line-up, the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opener opined that a tweak in mindset is required but nothing as such in terms of technique.
“I have opened for my state team, but for India ‘A’ and the first-class matches that we have played across other countries, I have batted in the middle order as well. Obviously there is a little bit of tweaking [between] when you play as an opener and when you play as a middle-order batsman, but I think it’s more on the mental side of things rather than technique or anything as such,” Gill said in response to a Sportskeeda query.
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With two set batters at the crease and a long tail to come, India are comfortably in the driver’s seat. The Kiwis, though, would want Jamieson and Tim Southee (1 for 43) to make optimum use of the four-over-old new ball tomorrow morning.
Q. Can Shreyas Iyer reach a hundred on Test debut tomorrow?
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