Ahmedabad:

Shubman Gill said that his maiden T20I century against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Wednesday was “tactically and technically” a near-perfect game for him. The innings was instrumental in guiding the hosts to a mammoth 168-run win which meant that Hardik Pandya and Co won the three-match series 2-1. Gill looked in tremendous touch as the opener dominated almost every Kiwi bowler and his innings comprised of 12 boundaries and seven sixes. In response, New Zealand were bowled out for just 66 with Pandya leading the bowling attack by example as he picked up four wickets.

“To be able to play how I play, I have to be mentally clear,” Gill said during an interaction with skipper Hardik Pandya, a video of which was posted on BCCI.tv.

“This is what you (Hardik) told me. Every time I hit a six, he came and told me — hold your shape in the next ball, you don’t have to do anything extra, just do what you are doing and don’t try to go too hard. Every ball he kept reminding me and that helped.

“In the last over of (Mitchell) Santner, I was in the zone and I was hitting. So, I thought I will go after him but you asked me to hold myself back and target other bowlers because he (Santner) is bowling well in the entire T20 series. So, tactically and technically it was a near-perfect game for me.” ‘Player of the series’ Pandya snapped four wickets as he bowled with the new ball to dismiss Finn Allen and Glenn Phillips. He later returned to take two more wickets to demolish the Kiwis.

“Four wickets, to be honest, are just part and parcel of the sport but I think I bowled at 145 (kmph) if I am not wrong and that kind of gave me the happiness and the smile you can see. So, I told him (Gill) today that it is my last game and I am going on a break,” said Hardik, who will play his next game in about two months’ time.

“So, today (Wednesday) gonna be full all guns blazing and I am going to bowl as fast as possible and, to be honest, the kind of start we got, it made our life very easy.”

(With PTI inputs)

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