U-19 World Cup: How Shubman Gill grilled Pakistan

Updated: Jan 31, 2018, 11:33 IST | Gaurav Joshi

Top order batsman is over the moon after slamming an unbeaten 102 as Indian colts thrash Pakistan to reach their sixth final

India's No.3 batsman Shubman Gill celebrates after hitting a century against Pakistan in the U-19 World Cup semi-final clash at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Pic/ICC
India's No.3 batsman Shubman Gill celebrates after hitting a century against Pakistan in the U-19 World Cup semi-final clash at Hagley Oval in Christchurch yesterday. Pic/ICC

India's latest batting sensation, Shubman Gill rated his hundred against Pakistan in the U-19 World Cup semi-final here yesterday as the most satisfying knock of his young career. The superstitious Gill, who always tucks a red cloth into his pants a la Steve Waugh, smashed an unbeaten 102 off 94 balls to lead India to a dominating 203-run victory - their biggest over Pakistan — to enter the sixth final of the U-19 World Cup.

"This hundred is really special. There was pressure and nerves going into this match because it was against Pakistan. But I didn't think much, wanted to play according to the merit of the ball," he said after the match.

Dominating show
India posted 272 for nine in their 50 overs and then bowled out Pakistan for paltry 69 in 29.3 overs, thanks to Ishan Porel's 4-17 in six overs. Shiva Singh and Riyan Parag claimed two wickets each, while Anukul Roy and Abhishek Sharma picked one wicket apiece. A couple of days before the match, Gill had stated he was glued to the TV screen to watch India v Pakistan matches and always dreamt of playing in such an encounter.

"Sachin Tendulkar's 98-run knock at Centurion in the 2003 World Cup is my favourite India-Pakistan memory," he recalled. Gill showed supreme composure throughout his innings as he rallied with the lower order to propel India from 166-5 to 272-9. One of the features of his innings was hitting the ball straight and along the ground through the off-side, a skill he fine-tuned while playing in Mohali.

Unique method
"There used to be three to four matches going on simultaneously and the leg side would be fully packed. So, I had to focus playing on the off side. That helped me develop my game," Gill said. India skipper Prithvi Shaw described Gill as a prankster. "He's the most mischievous guy in the team; makes everyone laugh along with
Abhishek (Sharma). He keeps pulling everyone's leg on the field," Prithvi said.

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