If there was even a slightest of doubt pertaining to Shubman Gill’s drop in form going into the World Cup at home next month, which began during the tour of West Indies in July and later sneaked into the Asia Cup as well, the young India opener put all talks to rest with a stellar maiden century in the continental event in the inconsequential Super Four game against Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. On a tricky track, against a disciplined Bangladesh spin attack led by skipper Shakib Al Hasan, Gill smashed his fifth career ton in the ODI format in 117 balls. (India vs Bangladesh Live Score, Asia Cup Super 4)
Gill’s century remained the sole batting attack for India, who were without a rested Virat Kohli and injured Shreyas Iyer for the match as the team management made as many as five changes for the match against Bangladesh. Against the target of 268 runs set by Bangladesh, where Shakib (80) and Towhid Hridoy (54) were the standout with their 101-run stand, India lost their captain Rohit Sharma for a duck in just the second ball of the innings before going four down in the 24th over for just 94 runs. Gill combined with Suryakumar Yadav for a valiant 45-run stand in the middle order, but the latter departed shortly after, leaving the opener alone in his act to wage a lone war in the chase of 266.
This was Gill’s fifth career century in ODIs, and fourth in the year after scores of 116 against Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram, 208 against New Zealand in Hyderabad and 112 against the Blackcaps in Indore. Gill, had earlier scored knocks of 67* against Nepal in the group stage and 58 against Pakistan in the Super Four stage of the ongoing Asia Cup.
Four-figure milestones in 2023
With the massive ton, Gill completed not one but two four-figure milestones in 2023. He completed 1000 runs in this calendar year in ODI cricket at 103.36 with four fifties and as many tons. Gill became the 13th Indian batter to score 1000 or more in a calendat year in ODIs. He also completed 1500 runs across formats this year, which came in 33 appearances with six centuries and five fifties. 230 of those runs came in five Test appearances while 304 in 11 T20Is.