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Shubman Gill : The Show Put On



Shubman Gill

Shubman Gill is a young and talented cricketer who has already made a name for himself in the world of sport. At just 23 years old, he has already shown tremendous potential and has been praised by many for his exceptional skills on the field. One of the most remarkable things about Shubman Gill is his ability to slow down the pace of a game, even when the sport is fast-paced and intense. This is a rare and valuable talent that sets him apart from other players and has earned Shubman Gill recognition and respect from fans and peers alike. With his natural talent, hard work, and determination, there’s no doubt that Gill has a bright future ahead of him in the world of cricket.

Cricket as sport and cricket as spectacle are two very different worlds.

The action of the sport takes place in an exceptionally short period of time. It is, in fact, a millisecond sport. If we assume that the average speed of a fast bowler is 135 km/h, that’s about two throws per second. According to Nathan Leamon, former analyst of England, the ball loses speed and travels an average of 32 metres per second.

The fastest recorded human response to a visual stimulus is 120 milliseconds, or about one-tenth of a second. Most good batters and hitters need to get close to this speed or do no worse than half as well. That is, they respond to the ball in 20% of a second.

The spectacle, on the other hand, loves inertia, a word whose dictionary definition is the exact opposite of what the sport is. The spectacle can also obscure the competitive element of sport, where only the cold numbers on the scoreboard count and not the aesthetics.

Slowness is a sinful pleasure, that’s for sure. But it can also be a compliment. If a player can compete and excel in this ultra-fast sport without looking sluggish or effortless, he must be exceptionally skilled.

This includes recognising the ball about five milliseconds earlier than others, performing half of the movements before releasing the ball (release motion), and having completed millions of repetitions at a young age so that the shots you play are practically from muscle memory.

All of this leads to a sluggish square drive from Shubman Gill. Or a ball caught with ease that makes one of our live commentary readers think of Mark Waugh.

Waugh is a good analogy. Both are similar in size, build and languid movement, both are outstanding slip fielders, openers in limited overs cricket and at home in the middle order in Tests.

Gill’s trigger movement is one of the reasons he seems to have so much time to play sluggishly. It is not the traditional back and lateral motion, but rather a motion along where he stands, well inside the crease, unlike many modern hitters. Today, many batters prepare for the movement by pushing forward to cut the ball off, rather than playing it after it has moved. They warm up by hitting for hours against a sidearm that is close to a fast pace. So for modern hitters, agility is more important than pace. They want to catch the ball before it moves.

Gill, on the other hand, stays in the crease, with his back foot across and his front foot slightly open. Neither foot is carrying all the weight. Most of his shots on nice balls are simply weight shifts to the back or front. He has an extra millisecond or five because he plays to the back.

A trigger movement is not always fixed. With fast bowlers, his back foot actually moves bac’kwards. His batting against New Zealand in the ODIs in New Zealand showed this very nicely. His batting was parallel and across against Matt Henry, with the front foot slightly open. Against Lockie Ferguson, he actually went back and across in preparation for the ball.

As a result, there is no frantic movement, the flow of his club out of the high back is smooth, and there is no club shot. If the ball calls for a back foot strike into the sideline, he simply shifts his weight backward. If the situation calls for a front foot strike, he moves his front foot just to cover the line. He plays up to compensate for a length that is not quite a half-volley. When Gill hits, you get the impression that things slow down a bit. That’s been programmed into him since he was a kid and has been repeated a million times.

That’s the difference between spectacle and sport: Shubman Gill does it to score runs, not to be aesthetically pleasing. What matters are the cold numbers. In the early years of his international career, Rohit Sharma was willing to sell his aesthetics for runs.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill’s technique was severely tested during his first series of tests in Australia.

Shubman Gill’s technique was severely tested on his Test debut in Australia. Day one of the Boxing Day Test, 40 minutes or so, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood doing all sorts with the ball, one wicket lost in the first over, Gill struck three times in his first over in Test cricket, bowled by Cummins. Gill scored 45 in the low-scoring Test. His 91 in the Gabba chase is often overlooked.

There are many advantages to playing in India and for India, but they also come under close scrutiny. It’s not just because of appearances. The battle for places is so fierce that people are tempted to look outward and ignore the natural law of cricket, which is that you fail more often than you succeed. Gill, too, has been called into question. Every time the team management considered giving him a place in the middle order – he usually played in the middle order under Rahul Dravid in the A teams – a Test opener got injured.

This year, everything is going like clockwork. Despite a strong start to his career, he would have known he was going to lose in ODI cricket to a double-centurion and close buddy, Ishan Kishan. He became the youngest double-century player in men’s ODI tournaments. On his way to reaching 1000 ODI runs at the fastest rate, he averaged 74 and batted 110 per 100 balls. In a World Cup year, there could not be better news for India.

There should ideally be only one anchor in a T20 team and he became India’s youngest T20I centurion while playing the anchor role at a strike rate of 200.

No one wants that, but as fate would have it, Shreyas Iyer’s injury has opened up a middle-order spot for him, and for the first time in a long time, both regular openers are fit.

If he performs well as a number 5 or 6, Gill will be the heir apparent to the number 4 spot after Virat Kohli retires, just as Kohli was at the end of Sachin Tendulkar’s career.

Shubman Gill’s time has come. And he has the extra milliseconds to enjoy it.

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1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli’s Cricket Legacy



1000 Runs in ODIs: Kohli's Cricket Legacy

On Thursday, November 2, Virat Kohli achieved an accomplishment. He became the batsman to surpass 1000 runs in ODIs in 2023, following in the footsteps of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma. Not that,. He also joined Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, and Pathum Nissanka as the fourth players to achieve this impressive record in the 50-over format within the same year.

Stepping into History with 1000 Runs in ODIs

Virat Kohli celebrating 1000 Runs in ODIs with a jump on the field

Entering the realm of history, Kohli’s unwavering determination and exceptional skills were put on display during his match in 2023. Notably, the cricket maestro, now 34 years old, made an indelible impact by surpassing Sachin Tendulkar‘s record, securing the most number of years with 1000 runs in ODIs. Kohli’s consistent ability to perform at such an exceptional level has been a defining characteristic of his illustrious career, as he had previously achieved this monumental milestone in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019, before accomplishing it once again in the present year of 2023.

An Unforgettable Journey

In an intense World Cup 2023 clash against Sri Lanka at the renowned Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Virat Kohli’s pursuit of this historic milestone was realized with an impressive 34 runs. Despite facing challenges, including a rare duck against England at the Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, his overall performance throughout the year has been nothing short of spectacular.

Kohli’s memorable journey was highlighted by an unbeaten century during India’s triumphant seven-wicket victory against Bangladesh at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. Adding to his illustrious record, he solidified his stature with a brilliant 95 runs, making a significant contribution to India’s thrilling four-wicket win over New Zealand led by Tom Latham at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium in Pune.

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Shaheen Shah Afridi: Fastest to 100 ODI Wickets



Shah Afridi celebrating a wicket

Shaheen Shah Afridi, on Tuesday, October 31, achieved a remarkable feat, becoming the third fastest bowler to secure 100 wickets in ODIs. His outstanding performance during Pakistan’s World Cup 2023 match against Bangladesh at the renowned Eden Gardens in Kolkata led to this historic accomplishment.

A Landmark Moment

In the thrilling encounter, Shaheen clinched his 100th wicket in only his 51st match, dismissing Tigers’ opening batter Tanzid Hasan Tamim. The left-arm fast bowler displayed exceptional skill as he struck Tamim on the pads, prompting the on-field umpire to raise his finger. Despite Tamim’s referral to the third umpire using the Decision Review System (DRS), the replays confirmed the ball crashing into the stumps, upholding the on-field decision. Bangladesh lost their first wicket with the scoreboard reading 0 in just 0.5 overs.

Surpassing Preceding Records

Shaheen Shah Afridi not only secured this feat in record time but also outshone the accomplishments of esteemed bowlers preceding him. He surpassed the record of the fastest pacer, previously held by Mitchell Starc, who attained the milestone in August 2016 during an ODI against Sri Lanka at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.

Legacy of Excellence

Moreover, Shaheen shattered the long-standing record held by Saqlain Mushtaq, becoming the fastest Pakistani bowler to claim 100 wickets in ODIs. Saqlain had set this record on May 12, 1997, during an ODI against Sri Lanka in Gwalior. It is notable that among the Pakistani fast bowlers, the accomplished Shaheen Shah Afridi follows in the footsteps of the legendary Waqar Younis, who achieved the 100-wicket mark back in February 1993 against Zimbabwe in Sharjah.

Beyond ODIs

Demonstrating his prowess beyond ODIs, Shaheen has made significant contributions in Tests and T20Is as well. Since his debut in 2018, he has garnered 105 wickets in Tests and 64 wickets in T20Is. His exceptional journey began with a strong performance in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand. Notably, he played a pivotal role in Lahore Qalandars’ consecutive victories in the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

A Testament to Talent and Dedication

Shaheen Shah Afridi’s rapid rise to 100 ODI wickets within 51 matches underlines his exceptional talent and unwavering dedication to the sport. As he continues to leave an indelible mark on the cricketing world, his journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers worldwide. With his remarkable achievements, Afridi has solidified his place in the annals of cricket history, etching his name as one of Pakistan’s most formidable and promising fast bowlers.

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ICC World Cup: Shoaib Akhtar says, ‘Mai India ki tareef kyu na karu’



Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistani fast bowler

Former Pakistan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar has recently expressed admiration for India’s dominant performance in the ongoing 2023 ICC World Cup. With India securing victories in all six matches, Akhtar highlighted the team’s exceptional display across various aspects of the game. Although the recent batting performance against England in Lucknow was relatively modest, India’s fierce bowling attack, led by Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, proved instrumental in securing a remarkable win. This triumph not only solidified India’s leading position on the points table but also exacerbated England’s struggles in the tournament, leaving them virtually eliminated.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Jasprit Bumrah laughing together on the field

India’s Remarkable Bowling Transformation

In his analysis, Akhtar emphasized the transformative impact of Shami’s inclusion in India’s playing eleven following Hardik Pandya’s injury. Acknowledging Shami’s outstanding performances against New Zealand and England, Akhtar credited India’s ability to win matches through their bowling prowess, showcasing a shift from their traditional reliance on batting strength. He commended the collective effort of the Indian bowling unit, particularly recognizing the strategic brilliance of fast bowler Bumrah.

The Indian cricket team is standing for the national anthem at the ICC World Cup

India’s Path to World Cup Glory

Looking ahead, Akhtar voiced his confidence in India’s potential to secure their third ODI World Cup trophy, highlighting the team’s upcoming matches against Sri Lanka, South Africa, and the Netherlands. Expressing optimism, he emphasized the significance of maintaining their unbeaten streak en route to the final, setting the stage for a potential historic ICC World Cup victory. However, Akhtar cautioned against compromising the successful bowling unit once Pandya returns to full fitness, warning against the potential detriment of a partially fit Pandya’s inclusion at the expense of a bowler.

Akhtar’s Praise for India and its Response to Criticism

Addressing skepticism surrounding his praise for the Indian team, Akhtar reiterated the exceptional nature of India’s performance, particularly in their ability to defend a modest total with a significant margin of victory. Undeterred by criticism, Akhtar reaffirmed his admiration for India’s exceptional cricketing prowess, urging acknowledgment and appreciation of their commendable achievements.

Virat Kohli gives a hand gesture on the field during a match

Shoaib Akhtar’s Perspective on Virat Kohli

Shifting focus, Akhtar’s history of praise extends beyond team performances to individual players, notably including former Indian team captain Virat Kohli. Reminiscing on Kohli’s resilience during a challenging phase in his career, Akhtar highlighted the pivotal role played by Kohli’s consistent century-scoring performances, leading to India’s victories. Recognizing Kohli’s contribution to the team’s success, Akhtar emphasized the significance of Kohli’s monumental centuries during crucial chases, solidifying his status as a crucial asset for the Indian cricket team.

In a comparison between Kohli and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Akhtar acknowledged Tendulkar’s status as one of the greatest batsmen while highlighting the challenges Tendulkar faced as a captain. Drawing parallels, Akhtar expressed confidence in Kohli’s eventual resurgence, expecting him to return to his prolific scoring form once he finds his equilibrium.

In summary, Akhtar’s acknowledgment of India’s exceptional performance and his recognition of individual players’ contributions underscore the team’s formidable presence in the 2023 ICC World Cup, setting the stage for a potential historic triumph in the coming days.

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