Shubman Gill is not only expecting some good, old-fashioned chin music from the Australian quicks during the upcoming four-Test series, he is looking forward to countering it with the “plenty of moves” the Indians have in their arsenal.
Sledging, chin music, mind-games, mental disintegration… Australia vs India contests have had a lot of all that in the last couple of decades, and while there is word that both sets of players have become far too nice towards each other of late, Gill is ready to respond when he needs to, and keep quiet when that is the better option.
“There are different types of characters. Sometimes you keep quiet and don’t respond, and focus on your batting, and sometimes you react. That depends on how you are feeling at the moment. I am not the sort to keep quiet all the time, but I am not likely to say something each time too. So it depends… We sledge too. When teams come to India, we do get involved,” Gill, the 21-year-old top-order batsman, said in an interview with kkr.in.
“Things might have been different earlier, and maybe some of our batsmen were not as aggressive [in terms of scoring], especially in Test cricket. But now you get a result in almost every Test match, so if they come to us with chin music, we have plenty of moves to deal with their chin music.”
Gill played both of India’s first-class warm-up matches in the lead up to the first Test – a day-nighter in Adelaide starting December 17 – and was impressive in the second of them, scoring 43 and 65. Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw are the incumbents in that position, but with Shaw scoring 0, 19, 40 and 3 in his four outings in the two tour games, Gill has become a contender to partner Agarwal at the top. Gill himself seemed to hint at exactly that with a tweet saying: “T-4 days… get your popcorn ready!”
“It’s quite intimidating to play Australia in Australia, but I am really looking forward to it,” he said. “As a batsman, there is no bigger opportunity than to play against Australia at their home as your confidence gets a major boost if you manage to score runs here.
“As a batsman in Australia, your pull shots and punches and cuts get you the most runs. They get a lot of wickets with the new ball, they pitch the ball up, so it tests both your front-foot and back-foot play.”
Gill has already played one international match on tour, the third ODI, which India won by 13 runs – they lost that series 2-1. But he has never played Test cricket, and the last tour game was his first under lights with the pink ball.
“We practiced quite a bit with the pink ball in the lead up to the Test match against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens last year (in November),” Gill pointed out. “I don’t have a specific opinion on whether the pink ball moves more (than the red ball). But we’ll have to see, because we played with an SG ball the last time (against Bangladesh) – I don’t know how the Kookaburra ball will react, how much it will move around.”