“To be honest, I’ll put it in one sentence. Playing my first ball and my last ball had the same rhythm in my heart. My heartbeat remained the same, yes. My heartbeat remained constant during my innings. I was still that nervous even with my score of 104.”
These were Shubman Gill’s remarks following his significant century that helped India win the Vizag Test, both for the team and for himself.
Since his U-19 days, when he distinguished himself from the rest of the field with his century against Pakistan in a high-stakes semifinal match, Gill has been held to a great deal of expectation. The athlete’s brilliance was evident throughout 2023, as he finished as the highest run getter in ODI and scored a century in all the formats of the game
For a player of Gill’s caliber, tests are always thought of as the ultimate test, and that’s where he began to falter a little. His tenure of 12 innings without a fifty came at the renowned No. 3 spot, which was previously held by Cheteshwar Pujara.
Although it’s never easy to replace Pujara, Gill appeared to be crumbling under the pressure of the situation as supporters and commentators expressed their annoyance. But the management of the Indian team has always had faith in the player’s abilities.
The first to declare that the backroom team was fully behind the rising star was Vikram Rathour, the batsman, who even asserted that he was due for a “big innings.”
Following Gill’s fulfillment of Rathour’s prophecy, head coach Rahul Dravid entered the game to express gratitude and support for the 24-year-old.
There is no one better to explain the pressure and difficulties that come with holding the number three spot than Dravid. After the Indian coach scored more than 10,000 runs from the spot, he gave Pujara the ball.
Now that he was the coach, Dravid demonstrated his class by thanking Gill for his efforts at the spot for India in Vizag, particularly at a pivotal moment in the match.
During the press conference, the Indian coach acknowledged that Gill was facing pressure from outside sources, but the team continued to have faith in the 24-year-old. Dravid cited Gill’s established quality and highlighted the crucial hits he took during the lean period.
Although Shubman faced pressure from the outside going into the Test match, we have a lot of faith in him from the inside. We have witnessed his class and his ability, so we know it. His skill as a player has been demonstrated.
Even in this short sprint. We have him at Chittagong 100 percent. In Ahmedabad, he received a 100. Thus, we are aware of that attribute. Naturally, though, given that he is a young player and is held to high standards, I believe he felt pressure. Very pleased with how he performed, Dravid remarked.
Gill may have acknowledged that he felt uneasy during his hundred, but the team management is behind him and is hoping that his run of poor performance at the No. 3 spot is coming to an end. Gill has been given a long leash to succeed by David and his team because they recognize his talent.
The story of what transpired in Rajkot between the two teams is still unwritten, but the team management is confident that Gill will be their new “wall” at number three.