Batsman Shubman Gill is looking forward to battling New Zealand fast bowler Neil Wagner during this month's Test series between India and New Zealand in Wellington and Christchurch.
India beat New Zealand five-nil in the recent T20I series. New Zealand then won the ODI series three-nil. They will soon contest a two-Test series.
The 20-year-old Gill will play for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League later this year. KKR have won the IPL twice – and have international players such as England's Harry Gurney, West Indian Andre Russell, Australian Pat Cummins and New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson in the squad. Unibet have KKR priced at 8.00 to win the 2020 IPL.
“I think their bowling attack has been taking a lot of wickets with the short ball, especially 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. I think as a team, as a batsman, if we could take that out of the picture and not give wickets to the short ball, it will be really helpful for us,” said Gill.
“I think the wickets here are really good to bat on, especially when we played the days game in Christchurch, the wickets were really good to bat on. The only challenge that we were facing was the bounce. The bounce was really good and it was really consistent. Keeping the wind factor in mind, it was not that easy to consistently pull and hook the ball.”
Will Gill be in the Test XI?
Whether India select Gill alongside fellow opener Mayank Agarwal or Prithvi Shaw remains in the balance. Gill hasn't been capped at Test level yet, but is certainly in contention for a debut on the back of a superb stretch of form for India A against New Zealand A. He struck a first-class double-century in Christchurch – and 136 in Lincoln.
“Obviously, mine and Prithvi's careers started at the same time, but there is no fight for the spot as such. Both of us have done well in our positions. It's up to the team management, who they will play. Whoever gets the chance will try to make the most of the opportunity and not let it go waste,” added Gill.
“I don't know about control over the mind but if you are fitter, you are confident that I can play a longer innings, I won't be that tired. If I am playing in a test match, I can back myself to play 300 balls, 350 balls and after that, when you go out to field, I won't be that tired. My legs won't be that tired. Those are the challenges.
“I think I have grown as a player, I have grown in confidence and in other aspects of my game. I think I have learnt a lot of things over the last few years. On my fitness, fielding, not just on my batting.”