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How Shubman Gill kept England spinners at bay

February 26, 2024 18:02 IST

IMAGE: Shubman Gill celebrates his half-century. Photograph: BCCI

Shubman Gill said on Monday he had planned not to lose his wicket to an lbw decision come what may, despite the odd ball keeping low and turning sharply during the fourth Test against England, which India won by five wickets.

Gill scored an unbeaten 52 in the second innings and shared a 72-run stand with wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel to guide India from a precarious 120/5 to victory without losing any more wickets.

"I had a plan for the off-spinners -- I planned that I am going to the keep the LBW out of the game.


“I have always played off-spinners stepping down the wicket and in this game, I just had to execute that and just be calm and not be too tentative playing the off-spinners," said Gill to JioCinema following the hard-fought win, which gave the hosts an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-Test series.

Gill indicated there were no demons in the wicket and it was "good" for batting.

"I think when you are playing on a wicket like this, you just have to keep the cracks out of the game. I mean, if the ball hits the crack, you can't do much about it. But, if the ball didn't hit it, then I think it was a good wicket to bat on."

IMAGE: Shubman Gill hailed Dhruv Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav’s partnership which brought India back into the game. Photograph: BCCI

‘Exceeded everyone’s expectations’

Gill gave a lot of credit to Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav for their batting in the first innings, which helped the hosts score 307 runs in reply to England's 353.

Kuldeep and Jurel shared a 76-run stand which set the platform for India to cross the 300-run mark after they were 177/7 at one stage.

"Dhruv (Jurel) being not out on 30 and Kuldeep (Yadav) also being on the pitch for some 17 odd runs (at stumps on day 2), the chat was all about to keep the (England) lead between 80 to 100 runs -- this was what we had initially planned. But the way both of them batted -- they exceeded everyone's expectations," said Gill.

In the end, England only enjoyed a 46-run first-innings lead, which was highly manageable.

"The way Dhruv batted, he was so mature to take on the spinners when needed and he was equally helped by Akash (Deep), Kuldeep and (Mohammed) Siraj.

“Then, once the lead was just 40 to 50 runs (46), we knew that we were back in the game and our bowlers just had to keep the pressure on the batters," added Gill.