Indian batting coach Vikram Rathore and ace-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin praised young opener Shubman Gill for his clarity of thought and confidence while revealing several conversations they had with the player from 23 years old during the test. series.
When Shubman Gill returned to the locker room undefeated on 64 during the lunch break on the final day in Brisbane, batting coach Vikram Rathore went to see him to find out what the youngster’s plans were against the fast Australian bowlers. The hosts had started their short-field strategy against Cheteshwar Pujara and Shubman Gill in the later stages of the first session.
“What do you think of the short ball? Vikram Rathour asked. Gill’s response and the clarity of his thoughts made the batting coach’s mind blow.
“The clarity of his plans surprised me. If someone throws the short ball to that line and that high, that’s what I’m going to do. If they throw it from the end where the limit was shorter, I’ll shoot it for six. He had all the answers, he knew what he was going to do. I had nothing to say to him. I said, ‘boss, keep going, you’re sorted.’ Vikram Rathore shared on Ravichandran Ashwin’s Youtube channel.
After listening to Gill’s response, a satisfied Rathour returned to where Ravi Shastri and the other coaches were seated. Shastri immediately asked the batting coach what Shubman had told him.
“You told him about the short ball, this phase is very important for us to go through,” said Shastri.
Ashwin goes further in the story. “And you said,” he said, “if it was below my waist I’d hit here – and I was blown away to think that someone could pick the length, the height, the line. and then have plans covered for it. It was unreal. I’m a huge fan of him, but it was unreal to know, “
Shubman Gill did exactly as he told Vikram Rathoure after the lunch break. The young opener took the Mitchell Starc short-range ploy, crushing the fast bowler all over the park.
Ashwin shared another conversation with Shubman Gill that impressed the spinner veteran. The senior Indian spinner revealed an example of Australia’s second round during the Boxing Day test.
As the Indian bowlers struggled to reject Australia’s lower order, Shubman approached Ashwin, asking him to roll up the innings as soon as possible so he could break the required 40-50 points in five times.
“Ash bhai, Jaldi khatam kar do yaar! 40-50 perform hoga toh, mein paanch on mey khatam karoonga! (Please wrap up quickly. If it’s 40-50 races to go, I’ll do it in five overs!). I was like, ‘wow, he’s an unreal man. We have a rookie coming up to say “khatam karo, finish it” and I’ll finish in five overs and that too in a test match! Ashwin revealed.
Despite being impressed by the youngster’s confidence, Ravichandran Ashwin preferred to stay in the toilet during the India chase even as Shubman Gill and skipper Ajinkya Rahane easily recovered to the target.
“There were two of us for 20-25 points and I told Mayank [Agarwal] to call me when you turn 65. I did not go out; I was there in the bathroom only! he added.
Also read: Don’t Put Excessive Pressure on Shubman Gill: Gautam Gambhir