When Shubman Gill got here to the dressing room through the last Test at lunch, unbeaten on 64, Vikram Rathour, the batting coach, went to him with a query: “What are your thoughts about the short ball?” The Australians had simply began bowling bouncers at him and the teaching employees wished to verify with Gill on his plans.
“The clarity of his plans surprised me. If somebody bowls the short ball at this line and height, this is what I am going to do. If they bowl it from the end where the boundary was shorter, I will pull it for a six,” Rathour shared throughout a chat on R Ashwin’s Youtube channel. “He had all the answers, he knew what he was going to do. I had nothing to say to him. I said, ‘boss, just carry on, you are sorted.”
When Rathour walked again as much as the coaches’ field to hitch Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and the place Ashwin was additionally sitting at that time, Shastri requested him, “Did you tell him about the short ball, this phase is very important for us to get through”.
Ashwin takes up the story additional. “And you said, he said, if it’s below my height I will hit here – and I was blown away thinking somebody was able to pick length, height, line and then also have plans covered for it. That was unreal. I am a big fan of him but that was unreal to know,” Ashwin says.
During the second Test in Melbourne the place India received, there was a Gill second that caught with Ashwin. When the Indians have been on the sector and making an attempt to bowl the decrease order out, Ashwin remembered Gill ran as much as him. “Ash bhai, Jaldi khatam kar do yaar! 40-50 runs hoga toh, mein paanch over mey khatam karoonga! (Please wrap up quickly. If it’s 40-50 runs to chase, I will do it in five overs!). I was like, ‘wow, this is unreal man. We have a debutant who is walking up to say ‘khatam karo, finish it’ and I will finish in five overs and that too in a Test match!”
Despite the teenager’s confidence, Ashwin revealed how he stayed in the bathroom through the Melbourne chase. “We were two down for 20-25 runs and I told Mayank [Agarwal] to call me when we reach 65. I didn’t come out; I was there at the toilet only!”
Rathour wasn’t shocked that Gill did properly as he was clear along with his plans even through the lockdown, manner forward of the tour. “I had called for discussions with all the batsmen during the lockdown. With other batters, we came up with plans, talked about what the bowlers might bowl at them, and worked out plans. But Gill had already sorted that out. The first thing he said was he was already practicing short ball as he was thinking about the Australian tour. He was telling me what he thought about Lyon, what are his plans going to be … That kind of clarity is unique when you know what you are going to do. He is a special player.”
PROMOTING PANT KOHLI’S IDEA
In the chat, Rathour additionally revealed that it was Virat Kohli’s thought to advertise Rishabh Pant up the order. And the thought got here on the post-match chat at Adelaide after India have been bowled out for 36. Kohli had joined the coaches for a midnight dialogue after which the group have been joined by Ajinkya Rahane subsequent morning.
“It came from Virat to be honest,” Rathour says. “He said, ‘in case we play both left-handers, it will be a good idea if we can send Pant at No. 5 so that we can have a left-right combination. We discussed it with Ajinkya also. Then during the match, in the first innings, we decided to let him go at No.6.”
Things rotated within the second innings at Sydney chase. “Irrespective of when we lose wickets, this is the last innings, and we were going for the runs. The intent was not to draw the Test. Till we can, we were going to go for the win. That was the right time to send him in,” Rathour shared. “Ravi Shastri is a great believer of left-right combination and thought for a long time that Australians don’t bowl that well to the left-handers. And Ajinkya agreed to send him at No.5”
There was little doubt about sending Pant forward once more over the past Test. “I was telling Ajinkya if we get a good start we can send him at No. 4 in the first innings but that didn’t happen,” Rathour mentioned.
WILL SHAVE OFF HALF MOUSTACHE – Ashwin’s problem to Pujara
The speak turned to Cheteshwar Pujara and Ashwin mentioned in half-jest that if Pujara went down the observe and hit any English spinner excessive within the upcoming Tests, he would play with half the mustache in that recreation.
“ I will take half the mustache out and come and play the game. It’s an open challenge! You think he will take it up?!” Ashwin requested and Rathour replied with a smile, “I don’t think he will take it up!”
Rathour detailed out Pujara’s logic. “I have asked him, why don’t you go over when every fielder is up so that they push the fielder back and you can take singles. And he said, ‘If I do that, I will get just one run. With all the fielders up, I can play the gap and get two-three runs’. I said that’s a great reason to keep it down, carry on!”
“I love his [Pujara’s] attitude, the way he bats, the way he prepares, he is a coach’s dream,” Rathour mentioned. “No praise is enough for the way he batted in the last test match. The way he responded to all the short balls, the way he handled the injuries, he kept on batting. He played a massive, massive role.”