Shubman Gill, the promising India opener, has admitted that the lack of bilateral cricket between the two sides makes it difficult for India’s batters to dominate Pakistan’s potent pace attack, led by Shaheen Shah Afridi.
“We don’t play against Pakistan so often, as we do against some other teams. We all know that their bowling attack is quite good and when you don’t play against such attacks often it makes a bit of difference in main tournaments,” Gill said on Saturday, ahead of Sunday’s Asia Cup Super Four tie between the neighbours.
When Gill struggled to score against Afridi, Naseem Shah and Haris Rauf last week at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium, it was his first ever appearance in international cricket versus Pakistan. In fact, five India cricketers — Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur and Mohammed Siraj — faced Pakistan for the first time in their career during the ‘no-result’.
Despite the match being abandoned, Gill was thrilled to have played against Pakistan. While a majority of established stars refer to a charged game as “just another game”, Gill stated it was slightly different.
“It was different. That was my first time against Pakistan in senior cricket. The pressure is slightly different (from other matches),” he said. “The pressure will be there no matter what game you play — whether it is against Afghanistan, Netherlands or Pakistan. We have the same level of nerves no matter what.”
On Friday, Gill celebrated his birthday as India slogged out in the nets at the R. Premadasa Stadium. The opener who has staked a claim to be the successor of India’s batting prowess hoped that he can play a part in India’s win and hand it over to India’s fans as a “return gift”.