Gill makes impact as captain on day of maiden Test call-up

Shubman Gill missed out on a hundred but made a successful start as captain in India A's seven-wicket win over South Africa A.

Shubman Gill had played two ODIs in New Zealand, earlier this year.   -  N. Sudarshan

Shubman Gill was disappointed on missing out on a century during India A's seven-wicket win over South Africa A here on Thursday. But little did he know that selectors had other plans for him, when the 20-year-old earned a maiden call-up into the Test squad for the upcoming three-match series against South Africa.

In his first ever match as captain, Gill wanted a big score to tide over the ordinary returns in the one-day series. When he walked out to bat on day one, he was tested by South African pacemen Lungi Ngidi and Lutho Sipamla, but he did well and played a waiting game before getting bowled by off-spinner Dane Piedt on 90, after facing 153 balls.

"I am very disappointed. I had worked really hard for my runs and was looking good for a century. The South African bowling was challenging. Ngidi was bowling well and Piedt was pretty good. I played them pretty well. Yes it was a good ball from Piedt but I could have done something different.

Read: K.L. Rahul dropped, Shubman Gill earns maiden call-up

"I wanted to spend some more time in the middle to convert my starts which I couldn't in one-day matches. So it is frustrating to miss out on a century. In the second innings it was again a good ball that got me. Yes, I am happy as a captain but not very pleased as a batter," Gill said.

Gill, earlier this year had played two one-dayers in New Zealand and was left disappointed when he was ignored from all the three formats for the recently concluded West Indies tour. He didn't let that setback deter his performance, by making a great start as captain. 

"Captaincy is an honour. I am leading a side in an international match for the first time and I am happy it went smoothly. Honestly my task was made easier as the players were professionals and knew their job. (Sitanshu) Kotak sir and seniors were helpful," he said.

Sitanshu Kotak, the India-A coach only had words of praise for Gill. "As a first time captain he showed maturity and looked to be at ease with his job. He did a pretty good job."