Team India batsman Shubman Gill has shared some hilarious anecdotes about his on-field chats with fellow openers Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal. He recalled how both veterans gave him the benefit of being the junior-most member of the team by taking the strike on the first ball in his maiden Test series against Australia.
Shubman Gill, during an interaction on the Grade Cricketer’s Podcast, also recalled his blunder in the second Test against England, where he himself asked for the strike and got out for a three-ball duck. The 21-year-old said he still doesn’t have an explanation for why he did it but asserted that he wouldn’t repeat the same mistake anytime soon.
“Never! (if he will ever take the strike on the first ball) I remember in my debut innings that Mayank was kind enough to say ‘Okay, I know you are under pressure so I will take the strike’ and he took the strike in both innings. And then in the next match, I was supposed to take the strike but Mayank didn’t play, Rohit bhai played (chuckles),” he said.
“Rohit himself said: ‘I know you are a youngster, so I will take the strike.’ From there on, he took the strike every game until that match against England. I don’t know why I told him that I will take the strike and obviously, that didn’t work for me, I got out on the 3rd or 4th ball on a duck. But yes, that won’t happen again anytime soon,” he added.
The youngster had made his Test debut against Australia at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in December 2020. When asked how long before the game he and Rohit Sharma would decide who takes the strike, the Fazilka-born batsman modestly replied that it could happen anytime, even moments before a game.
“Honestly, it can happen anytime. Like once, I remember we were almost in the middle, we were tapping our bats and I asked Rohit ‘Can you please take the strike?’. Because Mitch [Mitchell Starc] was going on his run-up and I was trying to search the non-striker’s end (laughs),” he stated.
Gill had an impressive debut series against Australia where he and Rohit provided India with some decent starts. However, he had a poor series against England at home, where he managed just 119 runs from 8 innings. Nonetheless, Shubman is expected to open the innings alongside Rohit in the upcoming World Test Championship (WTC) Final.