Debutant Shubman Gill said watching stand-in India captain Ajinkya Rahane bat on Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test against Australia was an educative experience for him.
Rahane showed exemplary resilience, withstanding the Aussie attack in difficult conditions in Melbourne through his unbeaten 104 which helped India end play at 277/5 and with a lead of 82 runs in the first innings.
"This knock was all about patience, more importantly when you are playing such a high quality pace attack, sometimes you get into shell and not able to score runs, and the way Ajinkya bhai played, it was such a magnificent knock to watch from outside," Gill said during a virtual press conference, as quoted by PTI.
"How to see off those tough periods, he made it sure that he put the loose balls away."
Gill said the way the MCG surface is playing, Indians are hoping to stretch the lead as much as possible and put the Aussies under huge pressure with batting conditions expected to only get worse from here on.
"On the first day, there was a bit turn for (Ravichandran Ashwin) Ash bhai and (Ravindra Jadeja) Jaddu bhai and even today we saw there was turn for Nathan (Lyon) and as the time goes on there will be more cracks and it will be more challenging for the batsmen," he said.
"So it is important to capitalise on this lead that we have and get them all out as quickly as possible."
Gill also spoke on his own performance with the bat, having made a crucial 45 at the top.
"When I came into bat, there was something in the pitch, it was lively but the only thing I told myself was that no matter what was in pitch, I should be able to play my game," the 21-year-old said.
"I should be able to give my team a start as an opener, that was the ideal situation and that was my hope."
"Overall I wanted to play with intent and build partnership which I did to some extent but I am not satisfied the way I got out, it was last ball of Cummins' spell and it was a loose shot."
Gill said being around the squad for the last couple of years and facing the Indian pacemen in the nets really helped him before stepping up at the Test level.
"I have been travelling with the team for the last 4-5 Test series, it has helped me a lot," said the youngster. "I have been able to settle in the team and to be able to play someone like Bumrah or (Mohammed) Shami bhai or Umesh bhai at the nets, it is a huge confident booster for a youngster. And when I went into bat today I didn't feel like I am in a whole new place."
The 21-year-old then said he is willing to bat wherever the team wants him to and thanked head coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour for their support.
"I don't have any certain plan, where ever team wants me to bat, I am happy to bat," he said. "I had certain plans and certain expectations from myself. Before coming into this match I was talking with our batting coach and our head coach Ravi sir and we were talking about how I should approach the match."