Shubman Gill smashes first Test ton in 11 months as rescue act silences critics | Cricket - Hindustan Times

Shubman Gill smashes first Test century in 11 months, silences critics with much-needed rescue act for India in 2nd Test

Feb 04, 2024 04:23 PM IST

Shubman Gill produced an innings that will potentially save him a spot in the Indian Test playing XI.

Shubman Gill, the under-fire India youngster, responded to critics in style as he notched up a third Test century during Day 3 of the second match against England in Visakhapatnam. The batter made a timely return to run-scoring after significant struggles in the red-ball format; Gill turned up for the side when the rest of the top-order failed to make notable contributions during the second innings.

Visakhapatnam: India's batter Shubman Gill plays a shot during the third day of the second Test match between India and England(PTI)
Visakhapatnam: India's batter Shubman Gill plays a shot during the third day of the second Test match between India and England(PTI)

Arriving after the early fall of Rohit Sharma (13) in the opening session of Day 3, Gill saw James Anderson taking out Yashasvi Jaiswal – the double-centurion from the previous innings – as well. Consequently, the India number three appeared overtly cautious, particularly against Anderson's accurate bowling.

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Gill had a fortunate escape early on when a close LBW call was overturned due to an inside edge detected by the TV umpire. Another scare followed in the next over when an incoming delivery from Anderson hit Gill's knee roll, but the umpire's decision favoured the batter.

Shubman Gill's century gave India a commanding lead(HT)
Shubman Gill's century gave India a commanding lead(HT)

However, these strokes of luck seemed to bolster Gill's confidence. He began to assert himself, launching a straight six off Shoaib Bashir before confidently using his feet against the spinners. Gill's aggressive approach was evident when he stepped out to legspinner Rehan Ahmed for a boundary down the ground and followed it up with a cover drive to reach his half-century.

India vs England Live Score, 2nd Test

Gill switched gears with ease, reaching the mark in just sixty deliveries; the relief was evident on the young batter's face as he had been facing the heat for his low scores in Test cricket for quite some time. Before this Test, Gill's career average had fallen below 30.

In fact, the youngster's last fifty-plus score had come in March 2023, when he smashed a century against Australia. Since then, in 12 innings, his highest score was 34 – which, interestingly, came in the ongoing Test.

Following the resumption of play after Lunch, Gill adopted a more composed approach following the loss of two more wickets – Shreyas Iyer (29) and Rajat Patidar (9) – during the ending overs of the first session. Alongside Axar Patel, the young batter opted to rotate the strike regularly before launching an aggressive against Rehan Ahmed in the 41st over.

Gill displayed positive intent by hitting a six and two boundaries off consecutive deliveries from the leg-spinner, signalling his desire to take charge against the England bowling attack. The 24-year-old eventually reached the three-figure mark in the 52nd over, off his 132nd delivery in the innings.

The century for Gill comes at a crucial juncture in his Test career, especially amid calls for his potential exclusion from the Test XI following a string of failures.

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