“In the nets there is always a little challenge between me and Umran”

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 batsman explained that his clashes with Umran during practice are always fun and challenging as he likes pace with the bat.

Umran has impressed with his raw pace in his short international career, despite putting in a few runs. Also on Tuesday (10 January), the Jammu & Kashmir speedster picked up three wickets and conceded 57 runs in eight overs in their first one-day game against Sri Lanka.

A number of opposing batsmen find Umran’s rapid pace difficult to deal with. When asked how it feels to face the rookie fast bowler in the nets, Gill said:

“Facing Umran in the nets is always fun and challenging for 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’re hitting the nets.”

In six ODIs to date, Umran has claimed ten wickets with an average of 25.50 and a save rate of 6.21.

Although India won the first one-dayer in Guwahati by 67 runs, they put up a mixed bowling performance. The Men in Blue had the Lankans eight for 206 and defended 373-7 on aggregate. However, Dasun Shanaka notched a fine undefeated hundred as the visitors ended their innings 306-8. Defending India’s bowling performance, Gill said:

“I don’t think bowling is a problem. We bowled quite well. It sure was a bit of a drag at the end, but we got them down that wicket and that outfield by eight wickets.

Shanaka batted 108/88 unbeaten and played with Kasun Rajitha (9*/19) in an uninterrupted ninth wicket total of 100.

“It’s like having butter on your hands” – Shubman Gill on Dew Impact

In response to a question about bowling and fielding around rope, Gill said it was very difficult. He compared the situation to players who have butter on their hands. The 23-year-old explained:

“It’s not easy when you’re second with so much rope. It’s not easy to control a wet ball. Sometimes the spinners can go out of play. But that didn’t happen in this match. Yuzi (Yuzvendra Chahal) bowled very well and Axar bhai (Patel) also bowled very well. It’s also challenging on the field as the ball sometimes slips off the field. It’s hard to catch the ball because it’s wet. It’s like having butter on your hands.”

Earlier in the day, after India lost the throw and was called to bat, Gill made a significant impression with the willow, scoring 70/60.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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