India opener Shubman Gill, who is making Test debut in the ongoing Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne, wrote himself into the record books with his first ever innings in the longest format of the game. Gill, who came into the side to replace the out-of-form Prithvi Shaw atop the order, scored a 65-ball 45 before being dismissed by Pat Cummins. The knock made him the third-highest run-scorer on Test debut for India in Australia. Interestingly, the person who holds the record for the highest score while on debut in Australia is Gill’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal, who had scored 76 on debut Down Under.
Gill did get a couple of lucky reprieves during his innings, first being dropped by Marnus Labuschagne before skipper Tim Paine put down a routine catch behind the stumps.
However, he was unable to get a half-century as he became pacer Cummins’ first victim in the Test. He would send Cheteshwar Pujara back to the hut shortly thereafter.
Nevertheless, Gill did enough on his first showing at the highest level of the game to suggest he will get more such opportunities in the future.
The beginning of Day 2 saw a lucky DRS reprieve, dropped chance, nicks falling short of the slip cordon, inside edges on to the pad – the Indian duo of Pujara and Shubman Gill rode their luck with aplomb under overcast conditions and another session probing bowling by the Australian pacers in the 2nd Test at the MCG.
Never looking quite settled in the middle, they still managed to put on 25 runs for the second wicket on day two – carrying on from 36/1 the previous day – to put the visitors in a somewhat comfortable position in the scorecard, but it was nothing but comfortable for them in the middle.
Gill and Pujara made the most of their lucky escapes and pounced on the full length to score runs. However, off the three fours the dup hit in their partnership this morning, two came off inside edges.
Just at the hour mark Paine though got a chance at redemption when Cummins had Pujara play at a length ball that was angled in and Paine, possibly wrong-footed, dove to his right full length to complete a good low catch. Pujara went for 17 off 70 balls.