Kohli impressed with Gill’s record-breaking innings against NZ; sends message to India’s new ‘sitara’

Shubman Gill on Wednesday eclipsed Virat Kohli’s record to become India’s greatest scorer in T20I during the team’s victory against NZ in Ahmedabad, becoming just the sixth batter to hit a century in all three formats for India.

Kohli impressed with Gill
Kohli impressed with Gill

With his unbeaten 63-ball 126, India’s rising batting prodigy Shubman Gill captured the hearts of millions and helped the Men in Blue secure the series by a whopping 168 runs in the third T20I against New Zealand on Wednesday in Ahmedabad.

In his electrifying first century in the shortest format, Gill hit 12 boundaries and seven maximums, propelling India to a massive 234 for 4 in the last T20I. The hosts then won the match and the series 2-1 by bowling out New Zealand for 66 in 12.1 overs.

Gill became the fifth player to make a century for his nation in all three forms, breaking famous batsman Virat Kohli’s record for the highest score in a T20I inning for India. Notably, after making his T20 debut last month against Sri Lanka, Gill had only scored 76 runs in his previous five matches.

In response to Gill’s record-breaking innings, Kohli, who was absent for the T20I series against the Kiwis, has now made a statement. Using Instagram, Kohli shared a photo of himself and Gill along with the caption: “Sitaara (Star). Future has arrived.”

The teenage opener meanwhile claimed that his unbroken 126 was “tactically and technically” a close to perfect game. During a conversation with captain Hardik Pandya, which was captured on camera and uploaded to BCCI.tv, Gill stated, “I have to be mentally clear to be able to play how I play.

“I believe you (Hardik) told me this. Every time I hit a six, he would come over and tell me to keep my form in the next ball; there was nothing additional I needed to do; just keep doing what I was doing without trying to push myself too much. He kept reminding me about each ball, which was helpful. I was in the zone and hitting in (Mitchell) Santner’s final inning. So, I had the idea that I would go for him, but you advised me to sit back and focus on other bowlers instead because Santner has been bowling well during the entire T20 series. Consequently, it was a nearly flawless game for me strategically and technically “Gill included.

The forthcoming four-match Test series against Australia, with the opening game beginning on February 9, will have Gill and Kohli in action.