India’s hopes of a sixth consecutive ODI series win were dashed on Sunday (November 27) as the second ODI against New Zealand was washed out due to rain in Hamilton. It was the fourth game of the series affected by rain with one T20I between the two sides getting washed out and another tied through DLS method in a rain-affected clash.

Rain-affected matches are an irritant for both players and the paying public, and hence, having closed roof cricket stadiums won’t be a bad option, feels young India opener Shubman Gill. In a six-match white-ball series in New Zealand, two matches (1st T20I in Wellington and Sunday’s ODI) were abandoned and one game (Napier T20I) was decided on Duckworth-Lewis method.

Gill, who scored 50 in the first game and was looking in good touch during his unbeaten 45 here, said that it does get frustrating at times. “This is a decision (playing in indoor stadiums) to be taken by the boards. As a player and as fans, it is irritating to go in and out and see so many matches being affected by rain. But I don’t know how I can take a stand for it as it is a big decision. Obviously closed (retractable) roof (stadiums) would be good,” the youngster told mediapersons after the second ODI was abandoned with only 12.5 overs being bowled.

The issue with rain-affected games is planning of the innings as 50 overs was curtailed to 29 overs on the day after a four-hour delay. “It was very frustrating. You don’t know how many overs so you can’t plan your innings,” Gill, who had hit a purple patch in 50-over cricket, said.

While there are calls for changing the template of India’s ODI batting, the Punjab youngster doesn’t feel that 400 or 450 runs per innings would be an everyday phenomenon in coming times. “The totals like 400 to 450 will happen in one or two games a year. More or less, it will be targets around 300 plus range, which are more probable ones. It also depends on conditions that you are batting – first batting or chase. But 400 plus scores in every match isn’t an achievable target,” he opined.

‘2023 World Cup is too far ahead’

Gill is a strong contender for a place in the squad of 15 for next year’s ODI World Cup but he said that he isn’t looking that far ahead. “I am not looking that far ahead and my aim is to make most of the opportunities that I am getting. That’s what I am trying to do and make most of the opportunities that I get, trying to score big runs for the team,” he stated.

(with PTI inputs)


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By Dipak

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