Shubman Gill stated that he was putting himself under too much pressure when he was not getting the big scores earlier and believes that reminding himself to play his natural game has turned things around for him.

On Saturday, Gill continued his run-scoring spree in 2023, and notched up his second Test century in the final Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at Ahmedabad. The opener’s 128 off 235 stood out as he built key partnerships including a 113-run stand for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara in India’s first innings reply to Australia’s 480.

Talking about the phase where he was getting dismissed early in New Zealand and England in 2021, he said in the press-conference, “I got a feeling that as soon as I was getting set, I was getting over defensive and over cautious. I was thinking now that I have got set, I will have to bat as long as possible. I was putting myself under too much pressure and that is not my game.”

“Once I get set, then I get into a sort of rhythm and that’s my game. So I had to tell myself that if I get dismissed while playing my natural game, then it is fine. But problem was I was getting out playing the type of game that doesn’t come naturally to me,” he added.

He further added: “If I get out trying to play a shot after getting set, I can accept that dismissal, because that’s a shot and my execution wasn’t proper. But if I get out playing a game which isn’t my style then it became unacceptable to me.”

“So I had to tell myself that I shouldn’t put too much pressure on myself when a situation like this arises next time, that I must convert now that I am set. I needed to keep it a bit free-flowing. It was more about mental make up and I focussed on that primarily.”

On the batting surface

Gill, who replaced a struggling KL Rahul in the third Test, hit 12 fours and one big six in a good show of batting to surpass his previous Test best of 110 despite cramping towards the end of his knock.

Although Gill admitted that the pitch was good to bat on in the post-match presentation, he said that application was vital in getting a good score.

Gill also spoke about overcoming a tough spell of run-making in the second session when Steve Smith’s bowlers remained disciplined in their line and length to test the batters’ patience for much of the hot afternoon. However, with two successive boundaries off Cameron Green with delightful cover drives, the opener broke the shackles and allowed the runs to flow.

Talking about his mindset during those tough spells in Test cricket, Gill said, “You have to remind yourself constantly that things are going well because there was a phase where we didn’t hit a boundary for the longest time and at that time, you had to tell yourself that it’s okay if you are not getting runs now but if you stick to your process, then there will be an over where you will get 2-3 boundaries.”

Quotes from press conference courtesy PTI

With AFP inputs