When Shubman Gill walked towards James Anderson to dispatch him for a straight six in an utter show of disdain to the bowler who is two wickets shy of becoming the first pacer to take 700 Test wickets on the fourth over of the morning session, Sanjay Manjrekar and Harsha Bhogle were talking about the feelings of the India batter’s father. Lakhwinder Singh, Shubman’s father was present in the stands of the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala watching his son’s audacious display of strokeplay against every English bowler in the fifth and final Test of the series.

Shubman Gill bows to father after reaching his century in India vs England 5th Test
Shubman Gill bows to father after reaching his century in India vs England 5th Test

The cameras couldn’t catch Lakhwinder’s expression at that moment but they didn’t miss an opportunity to turn towards him when Shubman Gill got his half-century a few minutes later and then to his century at the stroke of Lunch on Day 2.

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He kept a straight face for the first instance and clapped, nothing too ecstatic. But when Gill raced to his century with a four off Shoaib Bashir, even his no-nonsense father had to give in. Lakhwinder was on his feet. His fists were clutched, arms up in the air and moving rhythmically. The face, still bereft of a smile, was glowing with pride. Who says a smile is the only way to show happiness?

What did Gill do? He took his helmet off and bowed. He generally does that after hitting a century but this time, it meant the world to his father.

Watch: Shubman Gill’s father, Lakhwinder’s reaction after he got to his century in India vs England 5th Test

Lakhwinder, a serious cricketer during his younger days, is Gill’s first coach and quite a strict one. When he couldn’t convert his century in the second Test into a big one, he was worried that he would be pulled up by his father when he reached the hotel.

This has always been the case with Gill. He gets schooling from his father whenever he fails to convert his start into anything substantial. After getting the Playing of the Series in 2022 against Zimbabwe, he had revealed the tough words from his father for throwing his wicket away in the second match despite getting set.

“My father has been my primary coach. I got a bit of schooling the day before yesterday when I was out for 33. So this one is for my dad,” he had said.

There was no such problem this time around. Gill was in a different mood. It was quite evident when he didn’t hesitate to deposit Tom Hartley for a six in the last over of Day 1. What he did on Day 2, purely seemed to be an extension of what he started on Thursday.

After smashing Anderson for the gorgeous six straight down the ground, he hit three more in the same session. Resuming the day at an unbeaten 26, the right-hander eased his way to his fourth Test century off just 137 balls.

India were 264-1 in response to England’s 218 by the break on day two at the picturesque Dharamsala stadium, overlooked by snowcapped Himalayan mountains.

The overnight pair of Rohit, on 102, and Gill, on 101, were batting at the break in a stand of 160 after India resumed at 135-1 on a bright and sunny morning.

Rohit raised his second ton of the series with a single off Tom Hartley to a standing ovation from the crowd.

Gill got to his hundred two balls later in the next over with a boundary off Shoaib Bashir as he took a bow and doffed his cap to all corners.


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