India batter Shubman Gill became the latest to score an One-Day International (ODI) double century when he smashed 208 off just 149 deliveries in the first game against New Zealand in Hyderabad on Wednesday (January 18). He also became the fastest Indian batter to 1,000 runs in the format getting to the milestone in just 21 innings.
Speaking of his excellent run of form, Gill says that being consistent is something he strives for as a batter.
“In the first ODI against Sri Lanka and in the third ODI, I was set. I was looking to get a big score. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen," Gill said at the post-match press conference.
"Once I was set here, the main focus for me was to be there for the team and score as many runs as possible. It feels good when it pays off,"
“Consistency is the key to everything. It’s one of the things that I strive for. Being consistent as a batsman is very important in any format. It feels nice when you are doing things over a period of time repeatedly."
All-rounder Hardik Pandya was dismissed in controversial circumstances. While looking to tuck the ball down the fine-leg, Pandya missed and the ball seemed to have clipped the wicket, but Tom Latham's gloves were very close to the wickets. Many felt that the ball ricocheted off Latma's gloves onto the stumps. However, the the third umpire looked at the replay, he adjudged Pandya bowled but Gill does not agree with that decision.
“As a non-striker batsman, I didn’t think that the ball hit the stumps, even when I was watching the replay. Sometimes there’s a blind spot - you can’t really tell what happened," Gill reckons.
"I thought with the bail falling towards the crease, it’s a bit weird if the ball is hitting like that and the bail falling towards the crease.
“These bails are different. It’s a heavy bail and the stumps are a bit different. But, at the end of the day, you have to go with the third umpire and respect his decision.”
Pandya and Gill built a 74-run stand for the fifth wicket. However, the wicket played very little role in stopping Gill who went on a rampage after that.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Gill says he never felt the need to do anything different.
"Did not really think about accelerating when wickets were falling from the other end, was not trying to do anything different. One thing is that, when wickets are continuously falling, it will be easier for the bowler to bowl dot balls because he is not under pressure. The bowler should feel that the batter is showing intent, looking for boundaries," Gill said.
India reduced New Zealand to 131 for 6 in the 29th over in pursuit of 350. The match looked done and dusted before Michael Bracewell (140) and Mitchell Santner (57) came together. The duo put on 162 runs for the seventh wicket to bring the Blackcaps back into the game. However, India held on to their nerve to pull off a 12-run victory to help them go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
The Blackcaps would look to draw level in the next game which will be played in Raipur on Saturday (January 21).