India opener Shubman Gill continued his recent record-making spree, becoming the youngest men’s cricketer to score hundreds in all three formats of the game on Wednesday. At 23 years and 146 days, he accomplished the feat against New Zealand in the third T20I at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
With his scintillating 126 not out off 63 balls against the Black Caps, Shubman Gill also joined a select band of Indian players who have made hundreds across all formats. Before him, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, and KL Rahul were the only Indians to reach the milestone.
Gill is also the youngest Indian batter to hit a T20I hundred, going past Suresh Raina’s previous mark, who achieved the landmark in 23 years and 156 days.
If this wasn’t enough, Shubman Gill added another feather to his cap as he leapfrogged Virat Kohli to have the highest score by an Indian in T20Is. The former India captain scored an excellent 122 off 61 balls against Afghanistan in the Asia Cup in September last year.
The youngster was positive from the outset as he cracked boundaries early on in his innings before clobbering Lockie Ferguson for 11 runs in an over.
Afterward, Shubman Gill went berserk as he began dealing in boundaries and sixes, but his all-out assault on the New Zealand bowlers only came after he completed his half-century. Later, Rahul Tripathi and Suryakumar Yadav perished after scoring 44 off 22 and 24 off 13 balls, leaving Gill to go ballistic in his attack.
Gill struck back-to-back sixes against Benjamin Lister, before smashing two more maximums against Blair Tickner to cruise into the 90s. He brought up his maiden T20I century with a powerful cover drive off Lockie Ferguson and collected another 17 runs in the 19th over to take India past the 200-mark. The Men in Blue eventually finished with a huge total of 234/4.
With Gill making history in Ahmedabad, netizens hailed him on social media. Some fans went as far as to say that he’s the future of Indian cricket, while others compared him with the talismanic Virat Kohli.
What a show by Shubman Gill – 126* (63) with 12 fours and 7 sixes. A proper entertainment for everyone, he's the superstar! Impeccable striking throughout, what a talent.
Take a bow, Gill. pic.twitter.com/TKYmA5O9Rc
— Mufaddal Vohra (@mufaddal_vohra) February 1, 2023
Breaking records: Virat Kohli 🤝 Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill became the 5️⃣th Indian batter to score centuries in all 3️⃣ formats of international cricket 👏
This is Cricket heritage 🤌#PlayBold #TeamIndia #INDvNZ pic.twitter.com/zbtv5ZtHIw
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) February 1, 2023
So happy to see Shubman Gill reeling out centuries. Being a cross format batter is so hard. I hope he gets the patience his obvious talent deserves.
— Ian Raphael Bishop (@irbishi) February 1, 2023
What a knock by Shubman Gill, 126* runs from just 63 balls, the future has started for India.
Take a bow, Prince. pic.twitter.com/xhe6fr3vbF
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) February 1, 2023
I was very keen to see how Shubman Gill converts that solid start into a big finish. This is a fabulous innings. That second fifty is just out of this world
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 1, 2023
The fans’ praise of Gill came amid rising criticism of his play in T20Is, with 2011 World Cup winner Gautam Gambhir blasting him for his failures in the previous two games of the series against New Zealand. The Fazilka-born cricketer managed to score only 7 off 6 balls and 11 off 9 deliveries in Ranchi and Lucknow respectively.
Moreover, with the explosive Prithvi Shaw warming the bench, Gautam Gambhir urged the Indian think tank, featuring captain Hardik Pandya and head coach Rahul Dravid to drop Shubman Gill from the XI in T20Is.
According to Gautam Gambhir, Shubman Gill’s natural game isn’t suited to T20s and hence, it would be more appropriate to try Prithvi Shaw in the format.
“I feel Shubman Gill has to get better against spin, on a spinning wicket. He had his struggles against Bangladesh as well. Yes, he has been fabulous in the 50-over format, got good wickets to bat on, with 5 fielders inside, But then, you’ve got to get better when the ball starts spinning, gripping and bouncing as well. He will get tested, not only against seam but spin as well,” Gautam Gambhir said on Star Sports.
“He still hasn’t found his feet in T20 format, when it comes to playing international cricket. Sometimes you have to play at a different tempo. His basic game suits 50-over format. Someone like Prithvi Shaw, his basic instinctive game is made for T20 cricket. Shubman Gill is someone whose basic game is made for 50-over format. How quickly he learns and adapts to this format will decide whether he will be able to play all the three formats,” Gautam Gambhir asserted.
However, with his blistering knock against the Black Caps in Gujarat, Shubman Gill proved that he could perform in the shortest format of the sport too.
Earlier, this month, he became the youngest player to hit a double hundred in One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
The Punjab-born cricket star’s feat came against New Zealand in Hyderabad in the first ODI of the three-match series after he played a stunning knock, scoring 208 runs off just 149 balls.
Previously, the record was held by Ishan Kishan who had smashed a double century at the age of 24 years and 145 days against Bangladesh last month.
But Shubman Gill, at 23 years and 132 days, has now made the record his own after his latest heroics against the Kiwis in the Telangana capital.
In addition to that Shubman Gill also joined a select band of cricketers who have scored a double ton in the 50-over format. He’s the eighth batter overall to reach a score of 200 in ODIs.
Apart from Gill, the seven men who have accomplished the feat in the past are India captain Rohit Sharma, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, former explosive opener Virender Sehwag, New Zealand’s Martin Guptill, West Indies icon Chris Gayle, Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman and his teammate Ishan Kishan.
Subsequently, Gill carried his splendid run in the 50-over format in the third match against New Zealand in Indore, matching Babar Azam’s record of scoring the most runs in a three-match ODI series.
With scores of 208, 40, and 112, the 23-year-old cricketer notched 360 runs in three games against the Tom Latham-led side, thus putting himself on par with Babar Azam.
On his part, Babar Azam had scored the same amount of runs against the West Indies in 2016.