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‘Me vs Prithvi? Not really!’

Promising India batsman Shubman Gill has insisted he is not competing with fellow young gun Prithvi Shaw for the opener’s slot for the first Test against New Zealand, but added that whoever got the opportunity would not “let it go waste”. With a double-hundred and a century against New Zealand A here, Gill has attracted attention here. Shaw too is firmly back in the mix for the two-match Test series, which starts in Wellington on February 21.

“Obviously, our careers started at the same time but there is no fight as such,” Gill said when asked about competing with his former India U-19 captain. Both Gill and Shaw are 20 and considered the stars of the future. “Both of us have done well in our positions. It’s up to the team management who they will play. It’s not as if there is a fight. Whoever gets the chance will try to make the most of the opportunity and not let it go waste,” Gill said.

Wagner’s chin music

Having played in New Zealand for the last six weeks as part of the India A team, Gill said it would be important to nullify New Zealand’s short-ball tactics. “I think their bowling attack has been taking a lot of wickets with the short ball, especially Neil Wagner. If you see the last series they played against Australia, when nothing was happening in the wicket, they were really relying on the short ball. As batsmen, if we could take that out of the picture and not give wickets on the short ball, it will be really helpful for us,” he said.

Gill added that windy conditions in Wellington could be an important factor in the opening Test. “Wind factor is very important, especially when you are batting. The bowlers do a lot of planning depending on the breeze. It was not that easy to consistently pull and hook the ball in windy conditions during the A series,” he said.

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