On a cricket field, a fraction of a second for a common batter is a considerable period of time for someone of the class of Shubman Gill.
Watching Gill in flow is a treat. It was a bonus to watch the lanky Punjab batter display his repertoire in decimating a formidable Karnataka attack to notch up his maiden T20 century and celebrate his inclusion in the Indian team for the upcoming series.
Gill’s magnificent knock, a 55-ball 126 containing 11 fours and nine sixes, was a manifestation of his effortless ease of stroke making, impeccable timing, beautiful artistry of his supple wrists camouflaging his power and his natural athleticism.
Gill’s superb batsmanship in the Punjab versus Karnataka quarterfinal duel of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy at the Eden Gardens made one wonder ‘What is a batter of his caliber doing here when India is playing the T20 World Cup in Australia?’
Like a true professional, Gill made amends to his approach to show more patience and reaped the benefits. His familiarity with the Eden track also helped the former Kolkata Knight Riders player.
“On this pitch, you find seam movement early on during the Powerplay. Later, it becomes easier to bat. I made a mistake in the previous match and went for a big shot instead of waiting for the right time. So, I wanted to take my time. Feels good to have executed the plan well,” said Shubman.
Shubman had full faith in his abilities even when he entered the field. After getting set, he used his wrists to get boundaries through flicks and late cuts. Having gauged the pitch and the attack, he punished every bowler who erred slightly. The 23-year-old had so much time that he made some of the good deliveries look ordinary.
Playing mostly cricketing shots, some exceptionally straight to the sightscreen, Shubman magically found the ropes and the stands almost at will.
“It’s an important milestone for me, especially when it has come at the Eden…. Especially as an opener, when you spend time on the pitch and make runs, it gives a lot of confidence,” said Shubman.
In fact, his maiden T20 century was a good way for Shubman, a versatile batter, to celebrate his inclusion in India’s upcoming overseas ODI and T20I series against New Zealand and the Test series against Bangladesh. He obviously made good the valuable experience gathered by playing for English county Glamorgan earlier this year.
“It is a good feeling to get selected for the Indian team in any format. Now I have to show that I deserve this chance,” said Shubman.