Cricket News

ZIM vs IND – 1st T20I – Shubman Gill – Everyone looks rusty

Shubman Gill’s first match as India captain did not go according to plan as a squad full of players trying to make the transition from IPL to international cricket were found wanting to play Zimbabwe in a low-scoring game in Harare.

Most of the players on the tour did not have much recent cricket behind them, and Gill, in the post-match presentation, suggested that played a role in their downfall. “I think we shot well but I think we let ourselves down with passing the ball. We weren’t at our level and I think everyone looked rusty.”

Another factor was circumstances. Harare provided some movement on the side of the new ball and even when it settled, the pitch moved so slowly that playing the kind of shots these batsmen were used to playing in the IPL – hitting between the lines and above – didn’t always work. Five of India’s top six were out in single digits and four of those fell trying to force the pace.

Gill, who top scored with 31 off 29 balls, said his instruction to the team between the innings was to bat normally. “Actually, take your time, enjoy the batting. There are many players on the board. So there is not much pressure but it was not the way. [the match] it has been removed.

“In the middle, we were five wickets down and it would have been better for us if I had stayed till the end but unfortunately that didn’t happen. I’m very disappointed with the way I came out and the way the whole game went.”

Avesh Khan’s few hits kept India in the lead at the end, reducing the equation to 18 in 12 balls. But at that point they only had two clubs in hand and Gill knew those were long odds.

“There was definitely hope for us,” he said. “But you know when you’re hitting 115 and you want your No. 10 batter to stay there, something’s gone wrong.”

India have a chance to quickly regain the ground they lost in the second match of this five-match series which will be held on Sunday.

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