“There’s always a bit of a challenge between me and Umran in the nets”

Team India opener Shubman Gill has said that he and young fast bowler Umran Malik often challenge each other during the team’s net sessions. The batter explained that as he likes pace on the bat, his tussles with Umran during practice are always fun and challenging.

Umran has impressed with his raw pace in his short international career, although he does go for a few runs. On Tuesday (January 10) as well, the Jammu & Kashmir speedster claimed three wickets in the first one-dayer against Sri Lanka, conceding 57 runs in eight overs.

A number of opposition batters are finding it difficult to deal with Umran’s express pace. Asked what it feels like to face the rookie fast bowler in the nets, Gill said:

“To face Umran in the nets is always fun and challenging as a batsman. I’m someone who likes to play pace, so there’s always a bit of a challenge between me and Umran when we are batting in the nets.”

In six ODIs so far, Umran has claimed ten wickets at an average of 25.50 and an economy rate of 6.21.

Although India won the first one-dayer in Guwahati by 67 runs, they came up with a mixed bowling performance. The Men in Blue had the Lankans eight down for 206, defending a total of 373-7. However, Dasun Shanaka scored a fine unbeaten hundred as the visitors ended their innings on 306-8. Defending India’s bowling performance, Gill said:

“I don’t think bowling is a concern. We bowled pretty well. In the end, it was a bit of a drag for sure, but we got them eight wickets down on that wicket and that outfield.”

Shanaka struck an unbeaten 108 off 88 and featured in an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 100 with Kasun Rajitha (9* off 19).

“It’s like you have butter on your hands” – Shubman Gill on dew impact

Responding to a query on bowling and fielding with dew around, Gill said that it’s very tough. He compared the situation to players having butter on their hands. The 23-year-old explained:

“It’s not easy when you are bowling second with that much dew. It’s not easy to control a wet ball. Sometimes the spinners can go out of the game. But that didn’t happen in this match. Yuzi (Yuzvendra Chahal) bowled very well, and Axar bhai (Patel) also bowled very well. It’s a challenge to field as well, as the ball sometimes skids off the field. It’s hard to catch the ball because it is wet. It’s like you have butter on your hands.”

Earlier in the day, after India lost the toss and were asked to bat, Gill made a significant impact with the willow, scoring 70 off 60.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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