Shubhman Gill entered the record books with his maiden double century against New Zealand to power India to 349/8 in the first ODI of the three-match series at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Wednesday.
At the age of 23 years and 132 days, Gill became the youngest player to smash a double hundred bettering Ishan Kishan’s record. The batter put on a one-man show as he scored 208 runs in his inning with the next best being Rohit Sharma’s 34. Daryl Mitchell picked up two wickets for the visitors.
Opting to bat first, Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill started steadily, playing a few dot balls to get their eyes set in while finding the occasional boundary to keep the scoreboard ticking.
The Indian captain was the aggressor as he smashed two sixes and three fours inside the first 10 overs to take the team to 52/0 at the end of the first powerplay. Gill too dealt in boundaries as he smashed five boundaries at the end of 10 overs, batting at 21(30).
Rohit 34(38) looked in sublime touch but was dismissed in the 13th over while attempting to play a lofted drive over mid-on. Blair Tickner broke the 60-run opening stand to draw first blood for New Zealand.
Gill who had been playing second fiddle until now assumed the role of keeping the scoring rate high as Virat Kohli looked to get the feel of the pitch.
The former India captain however could not replicate his last match’s heroics as he fell to Mitchell Santner for just 8(10).
New Zealand clawed their way back and gained the upper hand with another wicket in the 20th over. Ishan Kishan who had scored a double century walked into bat at number four but failed to impress in the middle order as Lockie Ferguson produced the left-hander’s edge to dismiss him for 5(14).
Gill carried his good form as he reached his fifty with a six off just 52 balls. The right-hander stitched a crucial 65-run partnership with Suryakumar Yadav to steady the Indian inning.
Suryakumar was impressive in his brief stay of 31(26) but failed to make his start count and present a case for himself in the 50-over setup. The wicket, however, did not stop the flow of runs as Gill smashed a six and took a single in the 30th over to smash back-to-back centuries. The opener took 87 deliveries to get to his third ODI ton.
He became the second-fastest Indian to reach three ODI centuries after Shikhar Dhawan who took 17 innings while Gill reached there in 19 innings.
Hardik Pandya joined Gill to keep the Indian scoreboard ticking and shared a 74-run partnership for the fifth wicket before being declared out on a controversial decision which had the all-rounder fuming before walking off the ground for 28(38).
The all-rounder was declared bowled after the decision was sent to the third umpire for review. However, in the replays, it seemed that New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham’s glove disturbed the stumps and the ball went over the wickets without touching the bails.
Amidst all the drama, Gill surpassed his highest career score and also became the fastest Indian to reach 1000 ODI runs. He reached the landmark in 19 innings in comparison to Virat and Dhawan’s record in 24 innings.
The right-hander also became the joint second-fastest to 1000 ODI runs behind Fakhar Zaman’s 18 innings to reach the milestone.
Gill put his foot on the accelerator in the last 10 overs as he became the fifth Indian to score a double-century and the eighth batter overall to score a double ton.
The right-hander smashed three consecutive sixes of Lockie Ferguson in the 49th over to reach a historic double ton. He also smashed the highest individual score against New Zealand in ODIs.
He was dismissed in the last over for 208(149) which was studded with 19 fours and nine sixes. India ended the inning with 349/8.
Brief Scores: India 349/8 (Shubhman Gill 208, Rohit Sharma 34; Daryl Mitchell 2-30) vs New Zealand (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.