Harare: After narrowly missing out on his first international century on previous occasions, the stars aligned for Shubman Gill to finally get his first hundred when he slammed a gorgeous 130 in the third and final ODI against Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club on Monday.
“Definitely special (on hitting his maiden international ton). The bat was pretty good and that’s why I changed it after my fifty as I wanted to save it. Always special to get a hundred. I had made three nineties but wanted to get a century,” said Gill in the post-match presentation ceremony.
On a Sunny Monday morning sky, Gill had a splash with a top-class 130 off 97 balls, laced with 15 fours and a six, and was head and shoulders above everyone in the Indian team.
“I was just trying to minimise my dot-ball percentage. I just tried to time the ball and not hit it hard. I tried to hit the gaps as much as possible. It’s a great bunch of players and I have been playing with them for sometime now. Feels good when you are with the same bunch,” stated Gill on his batting strategy.
He was calm, composed and looked in absolute control to register the highest ODI score by an Indian batter in Zimbabwe, going past Sachin Tendulkar’s unbeaten 127 in 1998 at Bulawayo. But Gill, adjudged Player of the Match, said he had to pass through a phase where Zimbabwe bowlers were delivering tight spells before opening up and playing his magnificent shots.
“When I went in, there were a couple of bowlers bowling good. It was crucial to get through that. Once we were settled, we knew we could attack. Raza, Evans were bowling well and it was crucial to target the bowlers.”
Gill signed off dedicating his Player of the Series award, which he got for making 245 runs in three innings at an average of 122.5 and his second such award after the ODI series against the West Indies, to his father Lakhwinder Singh.
“This one is for my dad as he has been my primary coach. I got a bit of schooling day before yesterday when I was out on 33 (in the second ODI). So this (award) is for him.”