Port of Spain (Trinidad): In India’s ODI leg of tour to West Indies, opener Shubman Gill has played two quality knocks so far, making 64 in the first game and 43 in the second match. Whenever Gill has been at the crease, he has given a sense of confidence, assurance and fluency in equal measure. When people were talking about Ruturaj Gaikwad or Ishan Kishan as stand-in skipper Shikhar Dhawan’s opening partner for the series, Gill turned out to be a surprise pick but has been able to repay the faith on him by the team management, which in turn have boosted his confidence in 50-over format.
“I am feeling really confident about my batting. We couldn’t practice much after the Test series (in England) as both our practice sessions here got rained out, but once I batted in the ODIs, I felt really confident about the way I was playing.”
“They (the two innings in ODIs) were a huge confidence booster. West Indies are a good team and we posted two very good totals, one while batting first and the other while chasing. They have boosted confidence very well and hopefully I will go big in the third match. The kind of starts I have been getting like 40s-50s, I will aim to convert those into big innings,” said Gill ahead of third ODI.
Though Gill has been a bright light for India on the tour, both of his knocks promised a lot, but didn’t go the distance. In the first ODI, a casual run meant Nicholas Pooran caught him short of crease via direct hit. In the second ODI, Gill uncharacteristically went for a scoop, only to give a catch back to bowler.
“It was a big confidence note to get me open the batting. The think tank has backed me to open and I was happy to justify their faith on me. I felt good that they gave me the opportunity to open. I had a good start and carried on but unfortunately, I could not convert it to 100, because of which I was angry with myself for how I got out.”
Gill admitted that conditions at Queen’s Park Oval, where 300+ scores have been achieved in both innings, have helped him be at his best with the bat. “The surfaces have suited me quite well here. There’s not been much lateral movement for the fast bowlers and the new ball has been coming on nicely. It’s been harder to score once the ball gets old. It’s been stopping off a little but overall batting here has been a really good experience for me.”
Gill signed off by revealing how head coach Rahul Dravid and batting coach Vikram Rathour have been helping him be better in practice sessions. “I have a lot of batting interactions with both of them. Vikram sir gives my inputs on my technique and the areas I can work upon to strengthen them. Rahul sir gives advice on tackling conditions and shares his experience with me as he’s played a lot all over the world. The conversations with both are a little different but I talk with them for equal time.”