Shubman Gill. (ANI Photo)HARARE: His heart was racing when he moved to the 90s and the fear of losing out on getting that elusive hundred did grip his mind but Shubman Gill was determined to make it count this time, especially after getting a bit of "schooling" from his father.
The 22-year-old, who made his International debut in an ODI in 2019, scored 130 off 97 balls as India posted 289 for eight against Zimbabwe and completed a 3-0 clean sweep of the hosts with a 13-run win.
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Sikandar Raza's lion-hearted effort took Zimbabwe on the cusp of a famous victory before India held their nerves to pull off a 13-run win in the third ODI and complete a series sweep on Monday. It was Shubman Gill who had set up the game for India as he smashed his maiden international hundred to
"My heart was beating when I got into the 90s. I had got out in the 90s thrice before and never got a hundred in International cricket. It's always special to get a hundred," Gill said at the presentation ceremony.
Gill also topped the run chart in the series with 245 runs at an average of 122.50 to be adjudged both the man-of-the-match and man-of-the-series.
Known to have all the classical shots in his repertoire, Gill, who has played 11 Tests and nine ODIs, has often copped and criticised for not being able to convert his starts.
In Pics: Shubman Gill's maiden ton propels India to ODI series sweep against Zimbabwe
NextShow Captions<p>Shubman Gill struck a maiden one-day international century to steer India to a nervy 13-run victory over hosts Zimbabwe on Monday and complete a clean sweep of their three-match series at the Harare Sports Club. (AFP Photo)</p><p>Gill hammered 130 runs off 97 balls as India recovered from a slow start to score an imposing 289 for eight after winning the toss and electing to bat first, before bowling Zimbabwe out for 276 in the last over of the home side’s innings. (AP Photo)</p><p>Zimbabwe were in the hunt all the way thanks to Sikandar Raza’s sixth ODI century as he scored 115 from 95 balls, but when he fell in the penultimate over, their chances of a first victory over India since 2010 faded. (AP Photo)</p><p>It was the closest outcome of the series after India won by 10 wickets in the opening clash on Thursday, followed by a five-wicket triumph with 146 balls remaining in Saturday’s second game. (AP Photo)</p><p>Gill put on a 140-run partnership for the second wicket with Ishan Kishan, who scored 50, but after that watched a succession of partners depart cheaply.</p><p>Seamer Brad Evans completed his first five-wicket haul in international cricket with figures of 5-54 in his 10 overs. (AFP Photo)</p><p>Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams showed aggressive intent in the home team’s reply, scoring 45 runs off 46 balls, but at 169-7 they looked out of the contest. (AP Photo)</p><p>Raza and Evans (28) put on 104 for the eighth wicket to drag Zimbabwe back into it, but when they were out within five balls of each other with the victory line in sight, India were able to grab the win. (AP Photo)</p><p>Seamer Avesh Khan, playing his second ODI, took the last wicket and was the pick of the visitors’ attack with 3-66. (AP Photo)</p>
In the second ODI, he threw his wicket away for 33 after some sublime stroke-making.
Dedicating his maiden ODI century to his father Lakhwinder Singh, Gill revealed that he got a bit of "schooling" from his dad after he got out cheaply in the second ODI here two days back.
"My father has been my primary coach. I got a bit of schooling the day before yesterday when I got out on 33. So this one is for my dad."
Gill further said he would save the bat.
"The bat was pretty good and that's why I changed it after my fifty as I wanted to save it," he added.
Asked whether he was targetting any particular bowler, he said: "(Sikandar) Raza, (Brad) Evans were bowling well and it was crucial to target the (other) bowlers."
"I was just trying to minimise my dot-ball percentage. I just tried to time the ball and not hit it hard," he said about his knock.
Indian skipper Rahul was also all praise for Gill.
"I've not seen him over-confident and that requires composure. To show that kind of temperament despite not having played a lot of Internationals is really good. He has batted well throughout the series and did well in the West Indies and the IPL.
It's pleasing to the eye when he bats and good to see him use his form and score runs," he added.
It was also a comeback series for Rahul who underwent a sports hernia surgery post-IPL where he led debutants Lucknow Super Giants to a last-four finish.
"It's good to be back, it feels good to be in the middle. I fielded about 120 overs, got some time out in the middle with the bat. I am tired of coming back after a couple of months. But this is what we all want to do, playing for India."