Young Indian batsman Shubman Gill asserted that his team will not back down when faced with either sledging or short-pitched deliveries during the four-Test series starting in Adelaide on December 17 and feels it can be “quite intimidating” to play cricket in Australia.
In contention for the opener’s slot, Gill showed great technique and composure during his 43 and 65 in the two innings against Australia A in the pink-ball warm-up match that concluded on Sunday.
The 21-year-old, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, is eyeing a Test debut and said he is looking forward to the opportunity of playing Australia in Australia.
“It’s quite intimidating to play Australia in Australia, but I am really looking forward to it,” Gill told KKR’s official website.
“As a batsman, there is no bigger opportunity than to play against Australia at their home as your confidence gets a major boost if you manage to score runs here.”
India and Australia have always shared an intense rivalry on the field, filled with verbal volleys, banters and controversies over the years.
The last time the two teams faced off in 2018-19, the Test series saw some heated exchanges between the two captains – Kohli and Tim Paine.
Gill said his team wouldn’t be intimidated by sledging. “There was a time when (Indian) players had a reputation of not being too aggressive, and people would take that for granted when sledging. Things have changed now,” he said.
“Every character is different, some people like to keep quiet and not react while for others, engaging in a verbal-battle eggs them on to do better. For me, I’m neither the kind to always keep quiet, nor the type to keep going at the opposition.”
Ahead of the much-anticipated series, many players, including India’s Ravindra Jadeja, the Aussie duo of Will Pucovski and Cameron Green, have suffered concussions.
In fact, Australia pacer Josh Hazlewood said that bouncers will be an integral part of the home team’s strategy during the series.
“If the plan is to make us dance to their chin music, be rest assured we’ve got plenty of great moves in store,” Gill said.
India has played just one pink-ball Test so far in which they beat Bangladesh by an innings and 46 runs in Kolkata last year.
“We practiced quite a bit with the pink ball in the lead up to the Test match against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens last year (in November). But I haven’t played any competitive first-class match under lights,” Gill said.
India had registered its first-ever series victory on Australia soil when it beat the hosts 2-1 in the 2018-19 series.