When Shubman Gill went 6, 6, 6 in the first three balls of the 48th over to bring up his double and hammered one more for his ninth maximum of the innings, there was almost a touch of Yuvraj Singh in his batting.
It is no secret that Yuvraj Singh has played a huge role in the coming-of-age of Shubman Gill. Four years ago, when Gill made his India debut against New Zealand in 2019, Yuvraj had urged everyone to watch out for the young prodigy, and kept stressing on it more as Gill started to impress more. Today, Yuvraj’s prediction could not be more spot on as Gill smashed his maiden ODI double-century becoming only the fifth Indian batter to the milestone as he plundered a record-breaking 208 against New Zealand in the 1st ODI in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
At the end of the 47th over, Gill was batting on 169 with India’s total reading 303/7. With three overs to go, Gill unleashed himself on the New Zealand bowling, launching six sixes in 12 deliveries. And once Gill went 6, 6, 6 in the first three balls of the 48th over to bring up his double and hammered one more for his ninth maximum of the innings, there was almost a touch of Yuvraj as in his batting.
“Once in England, I hit 6 sixes in 7 balls. I was itching to unleash myself but like I said, with wickets falling at regular intervals, it was important for me to bat till the end and that was also the message from the dressing room. That’s why I had to contain myself and sort of played in a safe way because if I had gotten out, it would have been difficult for the lower order to hit boundaries,” he said during the post-match press conference.
“First I decided to go hard in the last 5 overs. But with Washy getting out in the 44th, the message was to hit in the last three overs. But I think in the 46th or 47th over, where I hit a couple of sixes, that’s where I decided to go hard. I thought the bowler of my match.”
No sooner did Gill light up the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal. Yuvraj tweeted: “200 in a one-day game! At such a young age incredible, unbelievable!! A very proud day for me and Shubman’s dad !!!congratulations @ShubmanGill. the whole country is proud of you #NZvsIND”. Gill was asked about the million-dollar tweet from Yuvraj, to which the 23-year-old said he was glad to make his idol proud.
“Yuvi Paaji has been a mentor to me, like a big brother. With him during the lockdown and even after that, he’s worked on my batting. My dad has been my primary coach since I started playing cricket. I think making Yuvi paaji proud is definitely a special feeling for me,” pointed out Gill.