Colombo: After his fifth ODI century went in vain as Bangladesh edged India by six runs in a thrilling Super Four match of the Asia Cup on Friday, opener Shubman Gill admitted that he should have taken the team over the line in the chase of 266 if he had batted normally.
On a tough pitch at the R Premadasa Stadium where very few of his team-mates clicked with the bat, Gill stood tall against Bangladesh’s four-man spin attack to hit a sparkling 121 off 133 balls. He used his feet and crease well and was reliant on strike-rotation too while hitting eight fours and five sixes.
But Gill’s dismissal, going for a loft on a slow and outside off-stump delivery from Mahedi Hasan and holing out to long-off, became the turning point in the match and despite Axar Patel’s enterprising 42, India were bowled out for 259.
“There’s so much adrenaline when you are batting, sometimes you miscalculate. That was a miscalculation on my side. When you got out, you saw there was a lot of time left. If I had batted a bit normally or not that aggressively, we should have been able to get over the line.”
“Fortunately, this was not the final for us. These are the kind of learnings that as a batsman you want to take and move forward. Fortunately, this game wasn’t the final for us and these are the kind of learnings as a batsman I like to take and like to improve on,” said Gill in the post-match press conference.
Gill also crossed the 1000-runs mark in ODIs in 2023, and his masterful showing in difficult conditions against Bangladesh demonstrated his adaptability in different circumstances. “On slow wickets, there are a lot of dot balls. Our chat as a batting group is to reduce dot balls and rotate strike.”
“The track was slow and was taking turn, so taking singles is not easy, especially for new batters. The talk was about playing it late and close to the body. On slow wickets, more runs are scored square of the wicket and less down the ground. So, the aim was to do that.”
Though Bangladesh spinners took only four scalps collectively, they were able to stem the run-flow in the middle overs, an aspect which Gill said is still a work in progress for India. “Not a concern, but definitely an area we are looking to improve on. We had a camp in Bangalore before coming here and practised on similar wickets.”
“The World Cup is such a long tournament, and as we go deeper into the tournament, the wickets will tend to get a bit slower. It is not easy for batsmen coming in to rotate strike and minimise dot balls. That’s what as a batting unit and bowling group we are looking to overcome.”