Why Shubman Gill didn’t dish out his customary celebration after England ton | Cricket

For 12 straight innings in Test cricket, Shubman Gill did not even score a half-century. While most cricket experts and veteran players were worried over his form, given that the youngster was billed as the “next big thing in world cricket”, few began questioning his place in the India XI. It was perhaps why a bigger, probably an animated celebration, in addition to his customary bow-down act, was expected of Gill when he ended his barren run on Sunday in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. But Gill dished out a very modest celebration.

India's Shubman Gill looks on during the third day of the second Test cricket match between India and England at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam(AFP)
India’s Shubman Gill looks on during the third day of the second Test cricket match between India and England at the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam(AFP)

Gill overcame an extraordinary ordeal in the first half-hour of his knock. Moments after he watched Yashasvi Jaiswal walk back to the pavilion, both Tom Hartley and James Anderson, in a space of five deliveries, handed him an lbw scare. While Shreyas Iyer’s suggestion to go for the review bailed him out in the first instance, it was umpire’s call that worked in his favour in the second. After Anderson was taken off the attack, Gill began to break free and played more confidently against the spinners, amid able support from Shreyas Iyer and then Axar Patel, as he reached his maiden fifth in 13 innings in format before converting it to a triple-figure mark.

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However, there was no big celebration from Gill, who scored his maiden Test hundred at No. 3 and third overall. There was only a look of relief on his face as he took off his helmet and looked to the heavens.

Speaking to the press at the end of the day’s play, the 24-year-old explained the subdued celebration was down to having more focus on the job at hand, the job of getting India to a bigger total. However, his knock did not last long, as he fell after hurrying himself into a reverse sweep.

“It felt good. I just thought the job was not done for the team. So, that’s why it was a little mellowed celebration,” he said.

Gill’s 104 helped India set England a target of 399 runs, which was eventually reduced to 332 at the close of Day 3, with the openers chewing out 67 runs in 14 overs. Despite England’s positive start sparking discussions on their comfortable chase of 378 against India in Edgbaston in 2022, the youngster feels that the visitors will find it tough in Vizag.

“As the game goes on, it will have variable bounce as we saw today. It is not turning as much as the other pitches but it is definitely doing something. It is not easy to score runs here. England are never out of the game. I think this is a different kind of wicket than what we played at Edgbaston.

Having said that, the morning session will be very important for us as we have seen there is always a bit of moisture coming at the start of the day. That will be the key for us,” said Gill.

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