Bengaluru, May 22 (IANS) After his second straight century in IPL 2023 helped Gujarat Titans chase down 198 against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in-form opener Shubman Gill said his focus has always been about getting a start and converting it into a big knock.
Gill sizzled at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium with an unbeaten 104 off 52 balls, laced with hitting five fours and eight sixes at a strike-rate of 200 to break countless Bangalore-supporting hearts in the stadium and steal the thunder from Virat Kohli’s hundred to chase down the total with five balls to spare and send the hosts’ out of the competition.
“In the first half of the IPL, I was missing out on those big ones. I was getting a lot of 40s and 50s. It’s all about getting a start and converting it into a big one. Thankfully it’s working out for me in the business end.”
“You need to keep playing shots in T20 cricket. You have to keep applying yourself, that’s important. The new ball was holding on a bit. The ball was getting wet with the dew,” said Gill after the match ended.
Gill also shared a crucial 123-run partnership off 71 balls for the second wicket with Vijay Shankar, who scored a quick 53, and revealed that he told the all-rounder to focus on getting his timing right.
“I thought Vijay Shankar was trying to go too hard. I told him to hold his shape and just try to time it. Once he found the momentum, he hit it a long way. I know my game… for any player it’s important to know who you are. I think we have a great bowling attack for that (Chennai) wicket (for qualifier 1).”
Skipper Hardik Pandya heaped praise on Gill for leading Gujarat to another resounding victory in the competition. “He knows when he plays those cricketing shots and bats like a batter, it’s a different Shubman Gill.”
“The kind of options he picked and the kind of places where he was hitting, as a bowler he doesn’t give any chance. That makes him very special and the other batter gets confidence from him as well.”
Pandya also acknowledged Kohli’s unbeaten 101 and added that he was pleased with ending the league stage on a high. “We wanted the momentum going, and wanted to finish on a high. We would have taken 197 at the start. We should have bowled good balls.”
“Special innings from Virat as well. I can’t ask for anything better. Last year, everything went our way. This year, we were expecting people to challenge us. A lot of credit goes to all the boys.”