Southampton, June 20: India opener Shubman Gill showed a lot of grit and determination in the middle after New Zealand invited India to bat first on the second day of the World Test Championship Final at Ageas Bowl, Southampton on Saturday (June 19). However, after perfectly countering NZ pacers for almost two hours, the 21-year-old promising talent, nicked Neil Wagner to be caught behind.
Gill scored 28 off 64 deliveries before getting dismissed in the 25th over, as India lost both their openers in the morning session. Rohit Sharma was the first batsman to perish as he scored 34 off 68 deliveries and he too was looking in sublime touch on a testing Southampton track.
India lost their third wicket in Cheteshwar Pujara when the right-handed batsman was trapped in front by Trent Boult. Pujara had scored just 8 before his dismissal.
But captain Virat Kohli and his Test deputy Ajinkya Rahane showed great resolve and prevented the fall of any further wickets against a quality pace attack from the BlackCaps. They were constantly probed under test pitch and weather conditions and showed tremendous discipline as the duo stitched a partnership of 50-plus runs before bad light forced early stumps.
Gill - who received a lot of praise for his small but skilful knock - talked about his batting effort in testing conditions and what total his team would be looking to achieve in their first innings.
While talking to broadcaster StarSports Gill said, "I think if we get anything above 300, it'll be a really competitive score for us. I got off to a really good start, but I would've loved to score fifty or more. The conditions were against us when we were put in to bat but I think we did well. In the end, it's all about scoring runs, so it was important to have intent to score runs when given the opportunity. Whenever we played Ranji in the north of India, where the ball seams, it's quite similar to England, so I'm used to coming down the track to seamers."
Talking about his dismissal the Punjab batsman said, "I don't think I could've done much about that ball (that dismissed me) because it was an in-swinger but it seamed away after that. Virat Kohli has been an idol to me and an inspiration to so many Indians. He's been someone who has revolutionized Indian cricket and he's an inspiration to me and the rest of the Indian side."