Shubman Gill equals Ponting, zooms past Tendulkar with 6th ODI century; Iyer shines with perfectly-timed ton before WC
Iyer and Gill tormented the Cummins-less Aussie attack in Indore to smash their respective centuries while stitching a record 200-plus stand
Two days back, Shreyas Iyer was left visibly frustrated when he found himself at the wrong end of a run-out mix-up in the opening match of the ODI series against Australia in Mohali. Iyer, who has been desperately looking to prove his worth yet again amid the rising talk over including Ishan Kishan and KL Rahul in the same XI for the World Cup at the expense of him being benched, managed only three runs before making his way back to the pavilion as a helpless Shubman Gill, who rather looked uninterested at the single, looked on. But the pair put the incident behind on Sunday as they tormented the Pat Cummins-less Aussie attack at Holkar Stadium in Indore to smash their respective centuries while stitching a record 200-plus stand in the second match of the series. (India vs Australia Live Score, 2nd ODI)
Gill continued his breathtaking form in ODI cricket, bouncing back from that small blip in August, during the tour of West Indies, to smash his sixth ODI century off 80 deliveries. He had fell 26 runs short of the mark on Friday when he was dismissed for 74 in India's successful chase of 276, but ensured that he gets to the triple-figure mark for the fifth time in 2023.
Gill rather kicked off his knock on a sluggish note, allowing Ruturaj Gaikwad to play the aggressor right at the start of the innings before Iyer took over the role. And after making 9 off his first 19 deliveries, Gill took on Sean Abbot for an authoritative six over long-on and a boundary slapped through extra cover. And even as rain caused a short delay, Gill stayed true to his attacking strategy as he smashed 41 runs in the next 18 balls before reaching the hundred-run mark in 92 balls.
Shubman Gill equals Ponting, zooms past Tendulkar
With the century, Gill matched Australia legend Ricky Ponting's staggering world record for most tons scored at home in a single calendar year in ODI cricket. Gill, who went past the 1200-run mark in the format, scored four centuries at home, levelling Ponting's 2007 record and Pakistan great Zaheer Abbas, who had first managed the feat back in 1982. He hence, left behind Sachin Tendulkar's tally of three hundreds scored in 1996, Virat Kohli (in 2017), Rohit Sharma (2017) and Babar Azam (2022).
Gill also becamse the fourth batter to amass 800 runs in a single calendar year at home in the 50-over format as he took down Kohli's 2013 feat of 716 runs and Sachin's 2007 feat of 783 runs. New Zealand's Martin Guptill still stands atop with 973 runs scored in 2015 while Sachin's tally of 957 runs in 1996 stands second. With Gill certain to play the entire ODI World Cup next month, having nine group games, he is certain to climb to the top spot.
Shreyas Iyer's perfectly-timed century
He struggled for a long time with his back issue, as he remained on the sidelines from March when Australia had visited India for the Boder-Gavaskar Test series. He then missed the entire IPL season and the WTC final during which he underwent a surgery and recovered at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru. He later underwent match simulations and practice games to prove his worth for the Asia Cup side before being down with another back issue which saw him him the Super Four games and the final in the continental event.
Amid his absence, veterans like Gautam Gambhir questioned his spot in the World Cup squad with injury concerns and lack of gametime while most backed Ishan and Rahul to be part of the same XI, hence benching Iyer for the tournament. But the star batter proved critics wrong and shut all the talk with a magnificent show in Indore where he smashed his third ODI ton and first in 11 months.
Catch all the Latest cricket news, and Live score along with India vs South Africa Series and related updates on Hindustan Times Website and APPs