Shubman Gill on Test debut in Australia: Felt like going to war

Gill made his debut in the second Test in Melbourne where India beat Australia by eight wickets. He had 259 runs in the four-match series.

Shubman Gill was an important part of India's historic 2-1 series triumph in Australia.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

India batsman Shubman Gill says making his Test debut in Australia felt like “going into a war” and an important lesson that he came back with was never to “rule someone out of a scenario.”

The 21-year-old was impressive during the tour, with the highest score of 91 and another half-century to total 259 in the four-match series that an injury-ravaged India won 2-1.

Gill made his debut in the second Test in Melbourne from where India's turnaround started after the thrashing in the Adelaide day-nighter.

“As long as the fielding lasted, I was pretty normal. But when we finally batted, and I was taking a walk down from the dressing room to the pitch with the crowd cheering (backing the Aussies, nevertheless), it was an experience of a kind! It felt like going into a war!” Gill told the official website of his Indian Premier League franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders.

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Before the Melbourne game started, Gill was moved as head coach Ravi Shastri presented him with his Test cap. “It’s inexplicable. At times you go through a sea of emotions which just make you go numb. It was that kind of a moment. Ravi Shastri gave a speech in the huddle, and then I received the cap from him. After that we won the toss and elected to field first,” Gill recalled.

The youngster is yet to make a noteworthy contribution in the ongoing series against England, but he showed why he is touted as the next big thing in Indian cricket with his solid performances in Australia.

Asked what it meant to debut Down Under, Gill said it was like a childhood dream coming true and felt surreal.

“When I was a kid, I used to get up at 4.30-5 am to watch Test matches in Australia. Now, people are getting up early to watch me play – that’s quite a feeling. I still remember my father used to wake up early and so would I just to watch the Australia series,” he remembered.

“It was a different kind of fun to watch Brett Lee bowl or Sachin (Tendulkar) sir bat. All of a sudden, I was playing in that team, and Australians were bowling at me.

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“It felt surreal that the world was watching me. I was really looking forward to the challenge and always wanted to play in Australia to experience how it feels,” he said.

And what are the lessons he brought back home? “...no matter what, you can’t rule someone out of a scenario. We had so many injuries, but the dressing room positivity never changed.

“We got all out for 36, and despite that, not for once our players or our coach or our captain and even the support staff felt bogged down or intimidated to such an extent that we didn’t know what to do next,” he said.

“As I had said before if they want to play chin music, we have got all the dance moves ready!”