Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], January 25 (ANI): Following his match-winning century against New Zealand in the third ODI, Indian opener Shubman Gill jokingly remarked that he does not think that his father would be happy with his performance in the match since he could not go on to convert his century into a bigger score.
Centuries from openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill followed by three-wicket hauls from Shardul Thakur and Kuldeep Yadav help India defeat New Zealand by 90 runs in the third and final ODI of the series at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore on Tuesday.
"I do not think he (Shubman's father) will be happy with my performance in this game. He would have told me to carry on and look to convert it into a big score," quipped Gill in a video posted by BCCI featuring Indian men's team head coach Rahul Dravid.
The 23-year-old batter said that he likes playing in ODIs since he gets enough time to figure out how the surface is behaving and then express himself and play his shots.
"This is one of the formats I like to bat in. This gives me some freedom in the start to be able to see what is there in the wicket and then I express myself, play those shots and showcase my game. In the first ODI against Sri Lanka, I was not sure I would be playing as Ishan Kishan had just scored a double hundred in the previous game. But the confidence you and Rohit bhai showed boosted me," said Gill.
Head coach Dravid remarked that two things that stood out about the batter over the last six to eight months are his hunger to score and maturity.
"You have always loved to bat, your ability to bat and score runs I have seen. As a coach, you want to see the hunger in young kids and a desire to get better. Just the way you have been taking those slip catches tells me that something is clicking and you are looking forward to bringing the best out of yourself. For me, this has been a remarkable change. For me, you were always a precarious talent and had maturity above your age. Anyone who has seen you would say that. Your understanding of the game has improved. You are figuring out your game, shots and the way you construct your innings. When you bat in ODIs, you also get to bat with two absolute legends. Rohit and Virat. Rohit opens with you. Once he gets out, Virat walks in," said Dravid.
Gill remarked that it has been an amazing experience for him to bat with Rohit and Virat.
"I have grown up admiring them, watching them. I used to think about how they were able to perform consistently. To be able to pick their brains is amazing," added Gill.
Indian opener Shubman Gill crossed the 2,000-run mark in international cricket on Tuesday.
The 23-year-old batter achieved this milestone during India's third and final ODI of the series against New Zealand at Holkar Stadium in Indore.
Gill continued with his consistency, making the best of every opportunity he has received as an opener. He smashed 112 runs in just 78 balls. His knock consisted of 13 fours and five sixes. His innings came at a strike rate of 143.58.
Now in 37 matches, across 49 innings, Gill has scored 2,048 runs at an average of 47.62. He has five centuries and nine fifties in international cricket with the best individual score of 208.
In Test cricket, Gill has scored 736 runs in 13 matches across 25 innings at an average of 32.00. He has one century and four half-centuries in the format, with the best score of 110.
Gill has scored 1,254 runs in 21 ODIs and an equal number of innings at an average of 73.76. He has scored four centuries and five half-centuries in the format, with the best score of 208.
The batter has played three T20Is for India, scoring 58 runs at an average of 19.33 in three matches, with best of 46.
Gill is enjoying a brilliant 2023 in ODIs, having scored 567 runs in six innings at an average of 113.40. He has three ODI tons and a fifty this year, with the best score of 208.
In this match, the 23-year-old batter added another record to his list, becoming the Indian with the most number of runs in a three-match ODI series.
Gill ended the three-match ODI series against the Kiwis with 360 runs in three matches at an average of 180. He has two centuries in this series, with the best score of 208. Previously, Virat Kohli had smashed the most runs by an Indian in an ODI series. He had recently scored 283 runs in three-match ODI series against Sri Lanka, which also included two centuries and a best of 166.
Gill has equalled Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who also scored 360 runs in a three-match ODI series against West Indies in 2016, smashing a century in each match.
Coming to the match, India posted a massive 385/9 in their 50 overs. Centuries from openers Rohit Sharma (101) and Gill (112) and fifty from all-rounder Hardik Pandya (54) were the knocks that largely propelled India to such a huge score.
Blair Tickner (3/76) was the pick of the bowlers for Kiwis. Jacob Duffy also took 3 wickets but went for 100 runs in his 10 overs. Michael Bracewell also took a wicket.
Chasing 386, NZ lost opener Finn Allen for a duck, but opener Devon Conway and Henry Nicholls (42) kept Kiwis alive in the game with a 106-run stand for the second wicket. Conway also had a 78-run stand with all-rounder Daryl Mitchell (24). However, Shardul Thakur (3/45) helped India make a comeback into the match. Conway was the sole warrior for NZ, scoring 138 in 100 balls consisting of 12 boundaries and eight sixes. Mitchell Santner (34) and Bracewell (26) tried to put some more runs on the board, but Kiwis were bundled out for 295 runs in 41.2 overs and lost the match by 90 runs.
Besides Thakur, spinner Kuldeep Yadav (3/62) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/43) also impressed. Pandya and Umran Malik also picked up a wicket each.
Shardul walked away with the 'Player of the Match' award for his all-round performance, which consisted of a useful knock of 25 runs and three wickets.
Gill also won the 'Man of the Series' award for making 360 runs in three matches, including a century and a double century.
Brief Scores: India: 385/9 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 112, Rohit Sharma 101, Blair Tickner 3/76) against New Zealand 295 (Devon Conway 138, Henry Nicholls 42; Shardul Thakur 3-45). (ANI)