Shubman Gill, the talented batsman, primed to make his debut in the opening Test against New Zealand, insisted that he’s not in a direct battle with Prithvi Shaw for the opener’s slot.
Gill, who has a double hundred and a century against New Zealand ‘A’ in Hamilton, ensured that the spotlight was on him despite Shaw being firmly back in the mix for the upcoming two-match series starting in Wellington from February 21.
“Obviously, our careers started at the same time but there is no fight as such,” Gill said on Thursday when asked about his take on his competition with the former India U-19 captain.
Both Gill and Shaw are 20 and considered the stars of the future after a splendid runs in age-group cricket.
“Both of us have done well in our positions. It’s up to the team management, who they will play. It’s not as if there is a fight. Whoever gets the chance will try to make the most of the opportunity and not let it go waste,” the 20-year-old said.
Gill has been with the India A team in New Zealand for the last six weeks. He feels that if New Zealand’s short-ball factor can be nullified, it would go a long way in helping the team.
“I think their bowling attack has been taking a lot of wickets with the short ball, especially Neil Wagner. If you see the last series they played against Australia, when nothing was happening in the wicket, they were really relying on the short ball.
“As batsmen, if we could take that out of the picture and not give wickets to the short ball, it will be really helpful for us,” he observed.
Asked to elaborate more on his observations playing in New Zealand, Gill said that the wind is a key factor in Wellington during the opening Test which starts February 21.
“Wind (Breeze) factor is very important, especially when you are batting. The bowlers do a lot of planning depending on the breeze. It was not that easy to consistently pull and hook the ball (in windy conditions during the A series).”
India will be playing the second Test in Christchurch at the Hagley Oval, a ground where he scored 83 and 204 not out in an A game.
“I think the wickets here are really good to bat on, especially when we played in Christchurch. The only challenge that we were facing was the bounce which was really good and consistent,” he said.