Gill's 112-run innings in Indore matched Pakistan skipper Babar Azam's record for the most number of runs in a three-match ODI series
Shubman Gill continued his blistering run with his fourth ODI century in the series’ third match against New Zealand on Tuesday. Gill is already the top-scoring hitter in the three-match assignment, having scored 208 and 40 not out in the first two games. Gill’s 112-run innings in Indore matched Pakistan skipper Babar Azam’s record for the most number of runs in a three-match ODI series.
During a 212-run opening partnership at almost eight runs per over, India appeared to be on track for the first 500 ODI runs. Two double-centuries in innings didn’t seem out of the question either, with Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill reaching their hundreds in the 26th over. However, once the slower balls began to grip, New Zealand’s bowlers improved their analysis, allowing India to score 173 for 8 in the final 24 overs.
Until he was surpassed by the young India opener, Babar held the record for scoring the most runs (360) in a three-match ODI series. Gill needed 113 runs to break the Pakistan legend’s record, but he was out for 112. From the other end of the pitch, India skipper Rohit Sharma provided unwavering support to Gill, the opening batter. Rohit, who hadn’t struck an ODI tonne in three years, also surpassed the three-figure mark with his 30th ODI hundred. However, Rohit was unable to continue his trek and had to return to 101.
What may have aided New Zealand’s return was that India’s entering batters attempted to bat in a way that would do honour to the start, taking risks that the slowed-down pitch may not have warranted. For Rohit and Gill, the first 26 minutes flew by. By that point, they’d hit 22 fours and 10 sixes. When they batted, they noticed that the pitch was too flat, the ground was too narrow, and the outfield was too rapid. Mis-hits flew for sixes, as they flicked from outside off and hit sixes without even hitting the pitch of the ball. The majority of the shots, though, were perfectly timed.
The 23-year-old Gill is only the second hitter in ODI history to score more than 350 runs in a three-match series. Following Gill on the list are Imrul Kayes of Bangladesh (349), Quinton de Kock of South Africa (342), and Martin Guptill of New Zealand (330). Gill appeared to be on track for another double-hundred, but his stay did not last long after the triple-digit score was reached. Blair Tickner dismissed the opener for 112 off 78 balls. However, by the time both Rohit and Gill had left, India had comfortably scored over 200 runs.