GUWAHATI: After winning the first ODI against Sri Lanka, India batter Shubman Gill said that it felt good to receive backing from skipper Rohit Sharma and revealed that head coach Rahul Dravid told him to just "play his natural game" in One Day Internationals.
Heroics by star batter Virat Kohli and 'Jammu Express' Umran Malik outpowered a fighting century by skipper Dasun Shanaka as India defeated Sri Lanka by 67 runs in the first ODI of three-match series at Guwahati on Tuesday.
Ahead of the first ODI against Sri Lanka, Rohit Sharma had announced that he would play Shubman Gill over Ishan Kishan, who had gotten a double hundred in the previous game. The India skipper said that he wanted to give Gill "a fair run" in the ODIs, the format which witnessed the best of the India opener in 2022.
"It feels good when the team captain backs you. This was the conversation in the practice as well, that I will be playing. Rahul bhai (Dravid) also told me to just play my natural game... whatever I have been doing in the one-dayers, continue doing that," Shubman Gill said in the post-match press conference.
"I was definitely disappointed when I got out on 70 because I had done all the hard work to get going and get a big one for the team," the opener said. Gill stitched up a partnership stand of 143 for the opening wicket with Rohit, which gave Indian batters a solid platform to end up with a massive total of 373. On his partnership with India skipper, the 23-year-old opener said that it wasn't something new to him as the duo have opened together a few times in Tests.
While the opener scored 70 off 60 deliveries the India skipper was dismissed for a knock of 83 off 67 deliveries. "I have batted with Rohit bhai before. We batted in Australia and in India as well, mainly in the Tests. It's nice to bat with him.
The conversation (between us) is generally about which bowlers to target and what they are trying to do.
Accordingly, we make our plans," he added. Despite making a vital contribution to India's victory in the first opening match, Gill lost out on a century. "Definitely, I was disappointed when I got out on 70. I did all the hard work and it was time to get going and get a big one for the team. After seeing off the new ball, I got out in the 20th over, so I had almost 30 overs to bat," the young opener added.
The second ODI will take place on January 12 in Eden Gardens, Kolkata while the third ODI will take place in Greenfield International Stadium at Thiruvananthapuram on January 15.