By: Shubham Ghosh
India opening batter Shubman Gill continued with his good form in the ongoing white-ball formats against New Zealand at home as he belted his maiden ton in the T20s on Wednesday (1) to help his team reach a strong position to win the three-match series. he also bettered a record by ace India batter Kohli en route his hundred.
Gill hit an unbeaten 126 in only 63 balls with the help of 12 fours and seven sixes to power India to a strong total of 234 runs for the loss for four wickets in 20 overs. The Indian batters made full use of the wicket after captain Hardik Pandya won the toss and decided to bat first at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Rahul Tripathi scored 44 off 22 balls and Pandya made 30 off 17. For the visitors, four bowlers took a wicket each.
Coming back to Gill, the 23-year-old right-handed batter was in explosive form in the three-match one-day international series before the T20s as he slammed two hundreds in three matches, including one double hundred in Hyderabad, and ended up bagging the player of the series award. His ton in Ahmedabad made him the fifth Indian to play a three-figure knock in the shortest format.
His 126 not out also eclipsed star batter Virat Kohli’s 122 not out as the highest individual score made by an India batter in T20s. Kohli’s knock came against Afghanistan in Asia Cup last year in the UAE.
Kohli is not part of the India squad in the T20 series.
Gill had been facing criticism over his show in the shortest format with former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir saying that his “basic game” doesn’t suit T20s. Gill has a strike rate of 128 plus in T20s.
The knock in Ahmedabad will silence his critics for some time at least.
India reduced New Zealand to 21 for five inside five overs in the deciding match at the time of writing this report. The home team lost the first match in Ranchi by 12 runs but bounced back in a low-scoring second game in Lucknow to win by six wickets and level the series.