For their Twenty20 team, the Indian team prefers batting after bowling. Current captain Rohit Sharma has set an example by changing his game according to the new pattern and going for his shots regardless of the match situation.
The type of players tested after the World Cup. Prithvi Shaw has a natural, ultra-aggressive game but the selectors are still unsure about his consistency.
In place of his teammate in the 2018 Under-19 squad, Shubman Gill is one of the first to be tested as India look to build the nucleus of a future side. Compared to Shaw, Gill is a classic form batter, but he knows the demands of the short format and has shown he has the extra tool to match.
The Punjab batsman gave more proof of that with a 55-ball 126 against Karnataka in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy match at the Eden Gardens on Tuesday.
It was a statement to silence those who questioned his selection in India’s T20 squad for the New Zealand series, ahead of Shaw, who has put pressure on the selectors with impressive performances this season. Mumbai’s batting has been in good form for Mumbai, with Syed Mushtaq Ali being their top run-scorer in the league as the T20s continue, scoring 285 at 191.27 in seven innings.
In fact, Tuesday’s games at Eden Gardens were seen as a contest between Gill and Shaw, with both players playing in the quarter-finals of the National T20 Championship.
After Gill left for Punjab in the morning, Shaw got a chance to compare the performances of his U-19 teammates when they arrived in Mumbai against Saurashtra in the evening. The game did not go according to plan for the first over in Mumbai as it fell for just two runs. Gill, on the other hand, did not put a foot wrong, hitting nine sixes at a strike rate of 229.09 to help Punjab to 225 for four.
“It’s always good to see your name in the Indian team in any format and it’s time to show that I deserve that spot,” Gill said at the presentation ceremony after being named the man of the match.
After winning high-scoring thrillers against Karnataka and Mumbai, Punjab chased down Saurashtra’s total of 166 to reach the semi-finals by eight wickets. In the last four matches scheduled for Thursday, Punjab will play Himachal Pradesh and Mumbai will play Vidarbha.
Their general effects are similar, but Gill and Shaw have a different approach. Shaw once again came up against the Saurashtra bowlers, but he was caught trying to bowl on a Chetan Sakaria delivery on Tuesday. Gill said he scored after setting up his innings.
“We saw that there was seam movement for the team bowling first (Eden Garden), we talked about not losing wickets in the powerplay, that was the plan. Once set up you can score big goals and in the previous match I made the mistake of going hard after not scoring a big goal on the powerplay. The older the ball, the easier it is to score and drive. In the last match I fell early and had a great partnership, today Abhishek and Prabhsimran fell early, me and Anmolpreet had a partnership, (it) shows that everyone in the team is in form and we are batting with great confidence,” Gill said.
126 against Karnataka is not surprising. During the last IPL, the opener upped his game to meet the demands of the format. He was the second highest run-getter for the IPL champions Gujarat Titans in the 2022 season with a strike rate of 132.32 from 483 runs in 16 innings. His 46-ball 84 against Delhi Capitals and 59-ball 96 against Punjab Kings made everyone sit up and take notice.
In a recent interview with ESPNCricinfo, he spoke about how reducing dot balls by relying more on off-spin as opposed to spin is the key to a good strike rate. “I think the less dot balls you bowl in T20, the better your strike rate is. Almost all batsmen have the same boundary percentage, but the ones with less dot balls have higher strike rates. In T20, you have to know what the bowler is trying to do. those who bowl one way, you can dominate them,” Gill said.
Summary scores: Quarter finals:
Saurashtra 166/8 lost to Mumbai 168/8.
Bengal 199/6 lost to Himachal Pradesh 200/6.
Vidarbha 157/5 beat Delhi 156/6.
Punjab 225/4 beat Karnataka 216/6.