Usually, a Shubman Gill century comes with the bow of a showman, marking a great celebration with his new milestone. But, the 24-year-old Indian batsman wasn’t in the mood to show his gesture after securing his 3rd test century in Vizag. After 11 months, Shubman Gill’s century against England in the 2nd test match shuts down critics for severely commending him on his poor form, as it was a pivotal moment for his test cricket career on 4th February 2024 (Sunday).
But, the star batsman was subdued with his celebration. Especially, he had to overcome a snatchy start and survive two close LBW calls on Day 3.
Moreover, his 10th international century came after 4 months. He lastly scored his international hundred in Asia Cup 2023 against Bangladesh on 15th September 2023.
Additionally, Shubman Gill’s century against England was the first by any Indian, batting at the No.3 position in test cricket at home after 7 years. Earlier, Cheteshwar Pujara achieved the three-digit score in a test match batting at 3rd position in November 2017 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur.
Gill was extremely under pressure when he came out to bat at No.3 position. Further, his enthusiasm levels lowered after the dismissal of Indian skipper Rohit Sharma by James Anderson.
Shubman Gill’s century against England depicts the struggle and growth he has been facing in cricket for the past few months. His score of 104 runs from 147 balls (including 11 fours and 2 sixes), held Team India’s innings firmly. Gill ensured to play a crucial knock mixed with aggression and caution to reach his three-digit score.
Shubman Gill’s century against England not only ensured his comeback but also rescued Team India’s collapse during the 2nd innings. In his first 20 deliveries, his lack of confidence was noticeable. He escaped two LBW calls from Tom Hartley and James Anderson when he was at 4 runs.
However, these lucky moments uplifted Shubman Gill’s confidence to score more runs. He struck a four in Tom Hartley’s over and back-to-back boundaries in Rehan Ahmed’s over. Gill’s aggressive approach by making use of his feet to step outside for a boundary and cover drive helped to achieve his half-century in just 60 balls.
The 81-partnership with Shreyas Iyer gave him time to settle and analyze his shots, by allowing him to take quick singles. Iyer, who was looking completely set at the other end, was backing himself against the spin bowling attack. However, he couldn’t sustain his innings longer, falling prey to Tom Hartley by scoring only 29 runs from 52 balls( including 2 fours).
Later, Gill was letting the balls pitch and he was responding in the best possible way he liked.
Particularly, after losing an additional two wickets of Shreyas Iyer and Rajat Pathidar in the first session, Shubman Gill played with more composure after the lunch. He maintained another partnership of 89 runs with Axar Patel by regularly rotating the strike.
During the 41st over bowled by Rehan Ahmed, Shubman Gill decided to shift the gears to reach his 3rd test century. He launched an assault by striking six and two consecutive fours in that over. As a result, he quickly moved on to 83.
Later, he played cautiously by not attempting to play too many shots until he attained an important milestone. By smashing a four in the 50th over bowled by Shoaib Bashir, he moved to a score of 92 runs from 123 balls.
Additionally, he took another 10 balls to score the remaining 8 runs. Ultimately, Gill succeeded in accomplishing his century in just 132 balls.
However, Shubman Gill’s century against England wasn’t able to last longer, after failing with a reverse sweep. By falling into the trap of Shoaib Bashir’s spin bowling attack, Gill was caught by Ben Foakes behind the stumps.
Shubman Gill barely acknowledged his half-century and simply raised his bat upon reaching a century after a long time. The only reason he lifted his bat to address his century was because his father cheered along with the crowd and he didn’t want to ignore them.
The moment seemed to be as if someone tapped a mute button on Gill. he was aware of the fact that the Indian cricket team had kept huge expectations on him.
Shubman Gill after scoring his fifty, analyzed that he needed to continue batting steadily. He planned that Team India should be leading with 350+ runs. Gill realized that it was the only chance to make it tougher for England to chase the target.
Before the 2nd test match, Gill’s batting average dropped below 30. In the ongoing test series, his highest score was 34 before striking his century. Especially, it was the last chance for him to secure his spot in the red-ball cricket format.
According to the reports, the Indian team management gave Gill a warning following his poor performance in the first test match of the series. Indeed, it was his first 50+ score in 13 innings of a test match. Moreover, it was his first exceptional knock after moving one step down the batting order in test cricket.
Shubman Gill’s century against England was the biggest relieving moment for him. He was able to recover from a big blow after being out of form for many months.
Team India managed to reach a total of 255-10 in 78.3 overs. As a result, Gill’s spectacular century helped the hosts to set a target of 399 runs against England.
Also, the visiting side at the end of Day 3 scored 67-1 in 14 overs. Still, the England cricket team needs 332 runs to secure their 2nd victory in the ongoing test match series.
On the other hand, the Indian cricket team will be aiming to bounce back by aiming to dominantly triumph. Consequently, a victory would help them overcome their shocking defeat in the first test match at Hyderabad.