Cricket

Aus vs Ind second Test | Travelling with the team has helped: Shubhman Gill

Ajinkya Rahane in action on day 2 of the second Test against Australia in Melbourne on December 27, 2020.   | Photo Credit: Robert Cianflone

Debutant opener Shubhman Gill who got off India to a solid start with his 46 on the second day felt the time he spent with the Indian squad in the last few Test series helped him tackle the Australian pace attack at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Sunday.

“I have been travelling with the team for the last four or five Tests series and, it has helped a lot,” said Gill after the day’s play.

“I have been able to settle in team and to play bowlers like (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami bhai, Ishant (Sharma) or Umesh bhai (Yadav) in the nets is a huge confidence booster for a youngster. So when I went in to bat, it did not feel like I am in a whole new place,” he explained.

Commenting on his innings, Gill felt that despite the good start, he was disappointed with his dismissal, after he got out chasing a wide delivery from Pat Cummins, four runs short of a half-century.

“When I came into bat, the ball was moving. There was something in pitch and it was lively. But the only thing I told myself was that no matter what is happening on the pitch, I should be able to play my natural game and I should be able to play with intent.”

“But I am not satisfied with the way I got out. It was the last ball of Cummins’s spell and, I should have seen it off. It was a loose shot at that moment,” he added.

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane’s unbeaten ton on Sunday helped India take the initiative and, the 21-year-old debutant felt he learnt a lot from the skipper’s innings especially, on how to see off the tough phases.

“This knock was all about patience. More importantly when you are playing such a high-quality pace attack, sometimes you get into a shell, and then not able to score runs. The way Ajinkya bhai played, it was such a magnificent knock to watch from outside. How to see of those tough periods and he made sure he put those loose balls away,” Gill added.

PTI adds

Australian speedster Mitchell Starc rued the chances his team squandered on the second day of the Boxing Day Test but also praised rival skipper Ajinkya Rahane for his pressure-absorbing century.

A dogged unbeaten 104 by Rahane put India in the driver''s seat after the second day as they were comfortably poised at 277 for five.

The fielders spilled a few chances offered by Rahane as India took a 82-run lead by the day end.

“It (the knock by Rahane) was pretty good. He absorbed some pressure there and sort of steadied the ship for them, at (a time) when they were still behind our score,” Starc said at the virtual post-day press conference.

“He (Rahane) has batted really well there, he took his chances and we probably could have got him out three or four or maybe five times before he got a hundred, but he''s run his luck there and scored a good hundred. Well done to him,” added the left-arm pacer, who had figures of 2/61.

Starc admitted Australia endured a tough day.

“Pretty much that (frustrating day for the bowlers). The last ball pretty much summed up the day, so again not our best day, not our worst, we created a fair few chances and unfortunately could not hang onto to those half ones or those changes we created,” he said.

“So Jinxy (Rahane) batted pretty well throughout the day, (there were a) couple of really good partnerships. I thought there was really good stuff from us as well, we couldn’t capitalise on some of the chances we created, to finish in a better position. So, just got to back up tomorrow and take five wickets as quick as we can,” added Starc, summing up the day''s play.

Starc also took his 250th Test wicket during the day, but said his focus on the third day would be to take more wickets.

“I don''t think I have really been one for personal milestones, we have got five more wickets to take in the first innings, so it is nice one to have there, to reflect on, but probably once I am done with cricket.

“But I guess it is nice to take a few wickets and I guess to be there long enough to take 250 (wickets) is very nice. But we have got 15 wickets to take in this Test match to get ourselves in a position to win, so for me it is come-back tomorrow and try and take another five,” the 30-year-old pacer added.

According to Starc, now it was important for his team to bat well in the second innings.

“...it is important for us when we get a chance to bat again, to bat really big and (get) back us into the game again,” he signed off.

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