Shubman Gill took advantage of two reprieves on Wednesday to help India upset New Zealand by 12 runs in the series opener in Hyderabad, becoming the youngest player to reach an ODI double hundred and the quickest Indian to accumulate 1,000 runs.

When New Zealand fell to 131/6 in the 28th over, India seemed to be in a strong position to defend 349. However, Michael Bracewell stepped out at No. 7 to make an incredible counterattack, hitting 140 in 78 balls and moving his side to within two hits of an unexpected victory. 12 fours and 10 sixes were hit by the left-handed hitter.

Bracewell is the only cricketer to have scored two centuries at No. 7, with the most recent being against Ireland in July at Malahide, Dublin. Considering the competition, context, and circumstances, this was undoubtedly a braver effort. Bracewell brutally destroyed India’s bowling, putting on a display of clean hitting that is uncommon in this format. He seemed to be entirely oblivious to all of those aspects. At one point, India seemed to be at sea as he successfully pulled, flicked, and drove good-length balls.

The pair scored 162 runs for the seventh wicket, with Mitchell Santner getting a less-than-sedate 57 off 45 balls before homegrown Mohammed Siraj claimed back-to-back wickets to put India back in the contest. When it came down to Shardul Thakur, who was required to defend 20 runs in the last over, Siraj, Shami, and Hardik Pandya kept the suspense alive by refusing to let the game slip away.

With the first ball, Bracewell hit him for one of the day’s longest sixes. Then, Thakur attempted to bowl a wide in an attempt to get Bracewell, who was moving over his stumps. The next delivery, Bracewell again stepped across, but Thakur’s full and accurate bowling struck Bracewell on his shoes, causing him to be out leg-before and resulting in an exciting victory. On a day that included 24 sixes and two distinct centuries, it all came down to this Bracewell miss as Gill nervously watched from cover.

Ishan Kishan scored the previous epic ODI double hundred against Bangladesh, giving India two double-hundreds in as many ODIs in the last five weeks. Gill’s success was mostly dependent on luck since he was dropped on plays 45 and 122. Before Shreyas Iyer’s injury, Gill’s selection seemed to be impossible since Kishan had already been chosen to maintain the wicket in place of KL Rahul and open alongside Rohit Sharma.

At the award ceremony, Gill said, “I wasn’t thinking about 200 until I struck those sixes in the 46th or 47th over. “At that point, I believed I could get a double. While I wouldn’t describe it as a “wow” moment, it does feel good when the ball launches in the desired direction. There is undoubtedly a sense of fulfillment. It seems to have set in. This undoubtedly falls under the category of “the stuff that dreams are made of.”

In that regard, Gill’s double hundred wasn’t simply a statistical triumph; it was also a thunderous retort, demonstrating once again why he is India’s finest No 2. Following a hundred against Sri Lanka in the most recent ODI in Thiruvananthapuram, which showcased his finest traits but fell short of being emphatic, he scored two doubles.

no more. Using a wide variety of back-foot punches, lofted drives, and pull shots, Gill created a calculated double on a stop-start track in Hyderabad where 34 was the next greatest score in India’s innings. When he reached 50 in 52 balls, 100 in 87 balls, 150 in 122 balls, and 200 in 145 balls, this was Gill as he had consistently promised but seldom delivered.

The context is expanded. The early vibrations of the innings, which included the dismissals of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Kishan in a span of 45 balls, were entirely concealed by Gill. After India went 27 balls without scoring a boundary in the final powerplay, Gill finally broke the deadlock by hitting Blair Tickner for a six over his head. When Lockie Ferguson came over, Gill was sufficiently warmed up to hit three sixes in a row to achieve his double in style. Another six muscled over square-leg.

Nothing Gill accomplished had ever been seen before. With that short-arm jab and the pull, he may sometimes seem awkward, but on Wednesday it appeared as if he was checking every shot while still maintaining his pace. In reality, the pull was Gill’s most effective stroke, contributing to over a third of his runs, 133 of which came from on-side shots. 15 of the 28 boundary hits—9 sixes and 19 fours—came from only midwicket and long on.

Although they were aware of Gill’s Achilles heel, New Zealand struggled to get rid of him. They removed a promising Suryakumar Yadav before taking Hardik Pandya’s wicket in a questionable bowled dismissal. The outcome would be the hundred. Gill went above and above expectations by being able to perform at the top of his game while solving problems, scoring a well-deserved double, and leading his side to a total that was just enough to defeat the Kiwis.