Kanpur, Nov. 25: India ended the opening day on top as Shreyas Iyer and Ravindra Jadeja put on a century-stand to guide the hosts to 258/4 on Day 1 of the first Test against New Zealand in Kanpur.
Opener Shubman Gill gave the hosts a strong start with a steady 52 off 93, before Kiwi pacer Kyle Jamieson and Tim Southee rocked the Indian line-up post lunch. Bowled by Jamieson in the 30th over, Gill was all praise for Jamieson's vicious in-dipper that breached his defences. Gill admitted he failed to read the delivery as he wasn't expecting reverse swing just after lunch.
After the end of day's play, Gill said, "I think he (Jamieson) bowled pretty well today especially in the first spell, he bowled pretty good areas to me and after lunch, the whole spell that he bowled was top notch."
Talking about his dismissal, Gill said the problem with his dismissal was the early reverse swing as the ball was only 30 overs old. "Sometimes, it's difficult to start knowing when it's reverse-swinging and especially after coming back from lunch, I didn't expect the ball to reverse that early in the game," Gill said.
"That's the thing about Test cricket, you have to read the conditions fast. In this particular innings, I wasn't able to read that ball well as generally, I wasn't expecting the ball to reverse."
On the day, he handled New Zealand's spin duo of Ajaz Patel and Will Somerville with ease and he attributed it to playing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the nets. "If you are already playing two of the best spinners in nets, especially in India, it does help, because if you try to negotiate them, you have a much better chance of going in the middle of the match and trying to handle those crucial periods of time."
Talking about debutant Shreyas Iyer, who steadied the ship after India lost three wicket post-lunch, Gill hailed Iyer's important knock. Furthermore, the opener said playing in front of fans after so long, who were kept out due to Covid-19 pandemic, was an added bonus.
"Obviously, it felt good, to be able to play a match in India with crowd back and we are looking forward towards the rest of match."
While he has opened the batting, Gill reminded that if need be, he can bat in the middle-order too. "I have opened for (my) state team, India A in first-class matches, in other countries, I have batted in middle order as well, it's more on the mental side rather than technique."
Meanwhile, talking about new head coach Rahul Dravid, Gill said he's enjoying the fact that Dravid is now at the helm, someone who has mentored him in his formative years in age group cricket. "It does make a difference when you gave played age-group cricket under him. You would know what to expect from that person. Rahul sir was with us throughout our Under-19 days and not just the World Cup but the entire journey we had," he signed off.
India ended the opening day in control as Iyer and Jadeja steadied the ship after the hosts lost quick wickets after lunch. The hosts ended the day with Iyer and Jadeja still at the crease and will hope to the duo pick up from where they left off when the second day get underway on Friday.
(With inputs from PTI)