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Gill shows the way, India makes a resounding reply


Protagonist: Gill’s spectacular century kept India on course for a big total.

Protagonist: Gill’s spectacular century kept India on course for a big total.
| Photo Credit: VIJAY SONEJI

Shubman Gill bowed to the crowd as he gloved a sweep off a Todd Murphy length ball down the leg to reach his second Test century (128, 235b, 12×4, 1×6) — first on home soil — on Saturday.

He took his helmet off, raised his bat and eventually India reach 289 for three on the third day of the fourth and final Test against Australia at the Narendra Modi Stadium.

Composed innings

Featuring in his 15th Test, the 23-year-old remained calm and and put on three 50-plus stands — with captain Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli who scored his first half-century (59 n.o., 128b, 5×4) in 16 innings — to lead India’s gritty reply to Australia’s 480.

Humble gesture: Gill bows to the crowd on reaching his century.

Humble gesture: Gill bows to the crowd on reaching his century.
| Photo Credit:
VIJAY SONEJI

In his 353-minute stay at the crease, Gill cut and drove fluently, and after resuming the day at 36 for no loss, backed captain Rohit Sharma in forging a 74-run stand for the opening wicket.

Runs came up at a good clip as Mitchell Starc, in a bid to test the openers with short balls, ended up conceding boundaries and even got hit for a six over fine-leg by Rohit, who became the joint-third-highest six-hitter (69) for India in Tests.

Coming into the fixture, Rohit needed 21 to bring up 17,000 international runs, and on a surface that held true for the third day in a row, the India captain reached the milestone with a four off Starc.

But in a turn of events, a well-set Rohit ended up slapping a Matthew Kuhnemann delivery to Marnus Labuschagne at short extra-cover for 35.

However, Gill stood firm and rebuilt with a 247-ball 113-stand with Cheteshwar Pujara.

After picking up 65 runs in the first session, Gill had to slow down a bit against a disciplined Aussie bowling attack, and even survived a Nathan Lyon review for leg-before. But the moment an opportunity came his way, Gill hit Cameron Green for a couple of boundaries and raced into the nineties.

But he did not look nervous. Rather, Gill lofted Lyon down the ground and then brought a boundary off Murphy to reach the three-digit-mark. Shortly after his century and minutes before tea, the momentum was broken as Pujara was trapped leg-before by Murphy, and even a review did not go his way.

Making the most of the conditions, Gill regrouped with Kohli and hit a flurry of boundaries before being trapped leg-before by Lyon. His departure, however, did not spoil India’s chances as Kohli took the innings forward with a rock-solid knock, and stitched a 44-run stand with Ravindra Jadeja as India inched closer to the 300-run mark.

Shrugging off jitters, Kohli took things in his stride as the day progressed and frustrated the Aussie bowlers, making sure the side didn’t fumble after Gill’s fine knock.

In February, Gill hammered an unbeaten 126 against New Zealand in the third T20I, and a month later, the young gun continued his love affair with the venue with another gritty ton, albeit in a different format.



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