Team India's opening batsman Shubman Gill has admitted that he used to be petrified of bouncers and has revealed how he overcame the problem by preparing tirelessly to get used to playing those deliveries. Gill was one of Team India's heroes in the series-deciding fourth Test match against Australia in Brisbane earlier this week.
He laid a solid foundation with an outstanding knock of 91 in the second innings as India chased a stiff target of 328 to retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy and even though he ended up missing out on his maiden Test century after being caught at first slip off Nathan Lyon, it was an impactful knock as the Men In Blue ended up registering a historic win to seal the four-match series 2-1 and register back-to-back Test series wins Down Under.
"When I was young, I used to be petrified of bouncers. I used to be prepared for the chest-height balls way in advance. I used to practice drives a lot so I got mature in playing the pull shot with a straight bat. I also developed one more shot where I move back a little to play the cut. I used to feel scared of short deliveries so I always wanted to get away from the line of the ball to play the cut shot. These two-three shots were my favourite as a kid and now they have become a part of me," Kolkata Knight Riders' (KKR) official website quoted Gill as saying.
Citing an example of when he was playing an age group match in Mohali, the 2018 U-19 World Cup winner mentioned that one is only scared of bouncers until they get a blow after which everything feels pretty normal. Gill then revealed how he finally managed to overcome his fear.
"When you get hit by a ball, your fear disappears. You are only scared until you get a blow but once you get hit, you feel like it was pretty normal! And then you lose the fear entirely. I was 9 years old when I was asked to play in a higher age group match. There was a bowler in the academy who was really fast. I was batting against him and was scared that I would get a bouncer to start with. So, I had pre-decided that I would just duck it," he said.
"He tried to bowl a bouncer but instead ended pitching it up. I realised this but still squatted and saw the ball hitting the edge of my bat to go the boundary. I realised he was not that fast after all. Soon I hit 2-3 more boundaries. This helped me raise my confidence level. This incident just eliminated all kinds of fear from my heart for leather balls and bouncers," the youngster added.
(With ANI Inputs)
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