Shubman Gill showed remarkable poise and maturity on way to his second hundred, taking India to a comfortable 188 for two at tea on day three of the fourth Test against Australia here on Saturday.
Gull, who has been in sublime form across formats, justified his inclusion in the playing XI ahead of K L Rahul with a delectable 103 not out comprising 10 boundaries and a six.
He added 74 for the opening stand with skipper Rohit Sharma (35 off 58 balls) and 113 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara (42 off 121 balls). At the break, Virat Kohli (0 batting) was giving Gill company with India still 292 runs behind Australia’s first innings score of 480.
Barring Gill’s hundred, which was there for the taking, the second session was a bit uneventful as only 59 runs were scored with the old ball making strokeplay difficult. The pitch is still conducive for batting and Gill hardly faced any difficulties in negotiating the Australian attack.
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Gill was struck in 70s for a long time before he upped the ante to reach the nervous 90s. He first stepped out and hit over Nathan Lyon’s head for a boundary before playing a paddle scoop over to complete his ton.
Earlier, Sharma looked in good flow as he pulled Mitchell Starc behind square for a six and ran well between the wickets during the 21-over stand with Gill.
The mode of dismissal was disappointing as the delivery from left-arm spinner Matt Kuhnemann (1/20) wasn’t a wicket-taking one.
It was pitched short and Sharma could have hit it anywhere but his uppish back-foot punch found Marnus Labuschagne at short extra-cover.
Strangely Kuhnemann didn’t get a chance to bowl in the post lunch session.
Gill didn’t have any issues tackling the Australian attack as he got a steady partner in Pujara who batted with some purpose during the first session before going into his shell. The pacers aren’t getting much help from the track and the short-ball tactic that both Starc and Cameron Green used didn’t pay much dividends. The pitch is still on the slower side and pace off the track isn’t much to hurry the batters into playing their strokes.
There is all the time in the world to rock back to either play the cut or punch through the off-side or play the pull in-front or behind the square.
In fact, in the second session, keeper Carey was standing up to Green in order to stop Gill from stepping and convert back of length deliveries into half-volleys.