India rolled over Sri Lanka in the first ODI in Guwahati and the top-order, who have been under fire for consistently underperforming, played a crucial role in that. While Virat Kohli scored his 45th ODI century, Shubman Gill (70) and Rohit Sharma (83) forged an opening wicket partnership of 143 runs which set up the base for the innings.
It was especially crucial for Gill for the way he has made it to the side. Even though he has grabbed his chances in the 50-Over format fair and square, there was always an element of pressure to fill the shoes of Shikhar Dhawan with Ishan Kishan, who scored a double century in the last ODI he played, waiting in the wings.
He did no harm to his chances on Tuesday and looks all set to make it worth with the 50-Over World Cup being a few months away. He was elated by the backing received from Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid.
"It feels good when the team captain backs you. This was the conversation in the practice as well, that I will be playing. Rahul bhai (Dravid) also told me to just play my natural game... whatever I have been doing in the one-dayers, continue doing that,” Gill said in the post-match presser.
"I have batted with Rohit bhai before in Australia, mainly in the Tests. It is nice to bat with him. The conversation generally when we were in the middle is, which bowler to target? What are they trying to do? Where are they trying to block our runs? And accordingly we make our plans."
One of the concerning aspects of Gill’s batting is the number of dot balls he consumes. Even though a strike rate over 100 in the ODI career does no harm to his career for now, Gill admitted that it was an area he needed to look at while stating that he has the confidence to make up for the dot balls.
"We are continuously checking areas and aspects where we can improve on. We are working on that. No batsman likes to play dot balls. But sometimes you have to see the game situation... if the game situation doesn't demand you to play too many high-scoring shots (like when) two wickets have gone down, as a batsman you (need to) have that confidence that I'm playing the dot balls but can cover up the runs later. But yeah that is one area we are continuously trying to improve,” the Punjab batter said.