India opener Shubman Gill impressed one and all with his batting exploits in the recently held six ODIs against Sri Lanka and New Zealand at home.
The Men in Blue completed a 3-0 whitewash in both the ODI series and Gill played a key role in it. While the right-hander registered scores of 70, 21 and 116 against Sri Lanka, he produced remarkable knocks of 208, 40* and 112 versus the Kiwis.
After his century in the third and final ODI against New Zealand, India head coach Rahul Dravid threw a new challenge to Gill, asking him to outbat Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli in the coming matches.
“Don’t get out till they are there and outbat both of them; that would be great for the team and it would be great for you as well,” Dravid told Gill in a video posted by BCCI.tv.
The coach then explained how it will help Gill in the future as he is batting alongside two absolute legends of the game.
“One of the things that is brilliant for you is that when you bat in this format especially, you bat with two absolute legends of the game, guys who have played more than 250 ODIs. You are opening with Rohit, and when he gets out Virat walks in. It’s an incredible opportunity for a young man like you to pick their brains and learn how to play this format,” said Dravid.
Sharing his experience of batting alongside Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Gill acknowledged that he is ‘learning from the best’.
“It’s amazing to bat with these guys. I have grown up watching them and admiring them. Going out there performing, hundred after hundred and I used to think how do they do it? How do they keep performing consistently year after years and to be able to bat with them and pick their brains when I am out there batting, it’s incredible.
“There are little things like today me and Rohit bhai were batting I think he was on 70s and 80s and Daryl Mitchell was bowling and he said this guy looks like one of the bowlers, who might get me out but I will still go after him. These are the mindsets of the great players and something I have picked while batting with Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma,” the 23-year-old remarked.
The third ODI between India and New Zealand was played at the Holkar Stadium in Indore, where the dressing room is named after Rahul Dravid.
When asked about it, the Indian coach said: “It feels good, you are grateful. I am truly grateful for all the love I have received over the years from so many people. It’s a privilege to play a sport in this country, the love you receive is really phenomenal and I was lucky to have the talent to play cricket and able to do that for a long time. It’s bit embarrassing at times as well but you do feel really great.”