Shubman Gill revived his India career with a splendid century against England on Day 3 of the 2nd Test in Visakhapatnam. Batting at No. 3, his impressive 104 after an 11-month hiatus played a crucial role in India’s second innings total of 255, setting England a challenging 399-run target. Interestingly, the Vizag Test was a make-or-break moment for Gill, with his Test career hanging in the balance. One more failure would have led to his exit from the squad, leaving just two innings to determine his fate before the 3rd Test. It was a close call for Gill, who managed to secure his spot with a stellar performance.

No need for the surprise reaction; Gill was given a clear ultimatum before the Vizag Test. As reported by The Indian Express, he had to either deliver a noteworthy performance or face the consequences. Despite being hailed as India’s upcoming batting sensation, Gill had been grappling with a loss of form since recovering from dengue. The first half of 2023 showcased his brilliance, winning the IPL 2023 Orange Cap and consistently scoring centuries. However, as the year progressed, his form declined, prompting the team management to shuffle the batting order, dropping Gill to No. 2 and promoting young Yashasvi Jaiswal as the opener. The Vizag Test became a pivotal moment for Gill to prove his worth and secure his place in the Test XI. (Sachin Tendulkar Pens Special Note For Shubman Gill For His Century Against England In 2nd Test)

“I will go and play the Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat in Mohali,” he told one of his family members, as quoted by The Indian Express.

At Day 3 stumps, England are 67/1 in 14 overs while chasing 399 runs, with Zak Crawly unbeaten on 29 off 50 balls with the help of three fours and a six and night-watchman Rehan Ahmad is unbeaten on 9 runs from 8 balls which was laced by two fours.

The hosts started the third session at 227/6 with KS Bharat and Ravichandran Ashwin unbeaten with scores of 6(27) and 1(8) respectively. Inside two runs, India first lost the wicket of Bharat who was dismissed after scoring just six runs and then the side lost the wicket of Kuldeep Yadav who went back to the pavilion without scoring.

After losing two quick wickets, Jasprit Bumrah came to the crease to support Ashwin. Both the batters put on a partnership of 26 runs before Bumrah was dismissed when the team score was 255 runs in the 78th over.

Soon after Bumrah’s wicket, Ashwin was also sent back to the dressing room in the next over as the team was bundled out for 255 runs. (Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do: Fans React As Shubman Gill Hits Ton Vs England In 2nd Test)

England openers Ben Duckett and Zak Crawly came into bat to chase 399 runs set by the Rohit Sharma-led India side. Both the batters started off the innings with a positive intent. Both of them put in another 50-run partnership for their side before Duckett was dismissed after scoring 28 runs on the bowling of Ashwin. Ashwin bowled two overs on Day 3 in which he conceded 8 runs and took one wicket.

Earlier in the day, India started the session at 28/0, with skipper Rohit Sharma (13*) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (15*) unbeaten. James Anderson struck early for England in the session, cleaning up Rohit’s stumps for 13, continuing the Indian veteran’s long-format struggles. India was 29/1.

Jaiswal, the double centurion in the first innings, was also caught by Joe Root at slips for just 17, giving Anderson his second wicket. India was 30/2. Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill, two batters struggling for runs and form, were the fresh pair at the crease and had the responsibility to build a partnership.

Gill dispatched Shoaib Bashir for a six at the end of the 17th over to bring India’s lead to 200 runs. Iyer and Gill continued to punish England’s inexperienced spinners, Rehan Ahmed and Tom Hartley, hitting them for several boundaries.

India reached the 100-run mark in 25.3 overs. Gill reached his fifth Test half-century in 60 balls, with eight fours and a six, striking Rehan for a boundary to reach the milestone.

Iyer-Gill seemed to building something big when Hartley struck for the visitors. Iyer’s struggles in Test cricket continued as he could not get the desired elevation on a full-length delivery and skipper Ben Stokes came running from mid-off to take a diving catch. Iyer was out for 29 in 52 balls, with two fours. India was 111/3.

Rajat Patidar, the debutant could not continue his innings for long as Rehan got him for just nine after he was caught by wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. India was 122/4. After India started to show signs of collapsing just like in the first Test, Gill (104) and Axar (45) cast away the doubts with their 89-run stand.

Gill took the onus of scoring the majority of the runs while Patel played the anchor role, steering the flow of the game and rotating strike on every available opportunity.

The 24-year-old made Rehan Ahmed his target, scoring runs from time to time. Shubman with simplicity in his approach used his feet and raised his bat for his third Test ton. Both batters managed to avoid traps laid by England Test skipper Ben Stokes with constant tinkering in the field.

Gill tried to pull off a reverse sweep but gloved it straight to Ben Foakes in Shoaib Bashir’s over. Initially, the on-field umpire deemed Gill not out, pushing Stokes to go for the DRS. The replay showed the ball glancing off Gill’s gloves and handed England their first successful review in the series.

Laced with 11 boundaries and two maximums Gill’s time at the crease came to an end with a score of 104. Axar got trapped in front of the stumps by Tom Hartley which led to the arrival of Ravichandran Ashwin.

Brief Score: England 253 & 67/1 (Zak Crawly 29*, Ben Duckett 28, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/8) vs India 396 & 255 (Shubman Gill 104, Axar Patel 45, Tom Hartley 4/77). (With ANI inputs)

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