Ahead of India’s three-day practice game against New Zealand XI in Hamilton, Shubman Gill has stated that bounce in the windy conditions were a problem for the team during the A series. Gill further added that being fit and confident can help a batsman play longer innings irrespective of conditions.
While Mayank Agarwal is definite to start in the first Test, who among Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, who batted together in the 2018 edition of the U19 World Cup in New Zealand, is the major question lies in front of the team management. While Gill comes to the series on the back of 83, 204* and 136 in his last two red-ball games for India A, Shaw had a history to make a case for himself, averaging over 100 in the two Tests he played for India one and half years ago.
But as of now, Gill is the first man who can be the proper consultant for the team management and in the pre-game press conference in Hamilton, he gave a sneak-peak to the conditions New Zealand had to offer.
“I think the wickets here are really good to bat on, especially when we played the days game in Christchurch, the wickets were really good to bat on. The only challenge that we were facing was the bounce. The bounce was really good and it was really consistent. Keeping the wind factor in mind, it was not that easy to consistently pull and hook the ball,” Gill said in the press-conference, reported Cricinfo.
Averaging 73.55 in first-class cricket, Gill is no slouch and has already been with the Test team for a fair amount of time to understand the effort it requires to play Test cricket. On being asked about his approach of playing long innings, the Punjab batsman added that fitness and confidence have a bigger role to play.
“I don’t know about control over the mind but if you are fitter, you are confident that I can play longer innings, I won’t be that tired. If I am playing in a test match, I can back myself to play 300 balls, 350 balls and after that, when you go out to field, I won’t be that tired. My legs won’t be that tired. Those are the challenges.
India will play the practise game in Hamilton, starting Friday, against the Daryl Mitchell-led New Zealand XI that also have the likes of James Neesham, Scott Kuggeleijn and Ish Sodhi.