Dravid's motivational punch as Gill roars back from the verge of getting dropped | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Rahul Dravid's motivational punch as Shubman Gill bounces back from the verge of getting dropped

Feb 27, 2024 10:59 AM IST

Shubman Gill drew comparisons to Rahul Dravid and Cheteshwar Pujara after he and Dhruv Jurel grinded India to victory in Ranchi

Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel had to play out of their skins on Day 4 of the fourth Test between India and England to lead the hosts to a five-wicket victory in Ranchi. India had a target of 192 to chase and openers Rohit Sharma and Yashasvi Jaiswal had knocked off 84 runs out of that in the first 18 overs itself. However, a sudden flurry of wickets meant that England had their tails up when Gill was joined by Jurel in the middle.

A jubiliant Indian cricket team coach, Rahul Dravid, hugs batter Shubman Gill after the team’s victory over England. (Screengrab)(HT_PRINT)
A jubiliant Indian cricket team coach, Rahul Dravid, hugs batter Shubman Gill after the team’s victory over England. (Screengrab)(HT_PRINT)

The pair, however, kept their calm and grinded their way to the target. Gill, who is known to be a prolific ODI and T20I player, pocketed the big shots and almost reached his half-century without hitting a single boundary. In fact, the Indians went over 30 overs without hitting a four or a six. The partnership between Gill and Jurel finished unbeaten on 72 off 136 balls as the two players saw India through to the finish line.

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Gill's innings sparked comparisons to Cheteshwar Pujara and India's head coach Rahul Dravid, both of whom famously made the No.3 spot their own. The 24 year old in his post on Instagram after the match shared a motivational quote and attributed it to Dravid. "If not you, then who? If not now, then when?" the quote reads.

Gill, Jurel grind England out of the series

Monday’s hard-fought victory gave India a record-extending 17th successive home series win. It came against a spirited England who gave them an almighty scare by winning the first Test and matched India toe-to-toe for much of the rest of the series thus far. England were, in fact, well ahead in the first two days of the fourth Test but Jurel's first innings knock of 90 off 149 balls, coupled with a sensational bowling performance from India led by Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav, helped the hosts wrestle back control.

On Day 4, England captain Ben Stokes stuck with his aggressive field positions by placing the fielders all around the circle, and it worked well for his team. India lost wickets in quick successions; from 84/0, they were half down for 120. The aggressive field did help England make a comeback, but it didn't last long, as Gill and Jurel blunted the threat. They initially struggled to rotate strike but eventually started finding gaps more often. Gill scored 39 runs in 119 balls before suddenly unleashing two sixes in three balls to get to a half-century in 123 deliveries.

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