Shubman Gill was cruising along at 67 off 45 balls in the 16th over, helping India maintain a solid strike rate of 10 runs per over. Ben Lister, a left-arm seamer making his debut for New Zealand, twice missed his length at that point. Gill first placed him in the bleachers over mid-wicket before clearing space to give him a somewhat squarer whip.

If anybody thought Gill was burning, they were in for a surprise as he accelerated. It ultimately assisted India in scoring 234 runs, which they easily defended, giving them a 168-run win on Wednesday in Ahmedabad, their largest in terms of runs. It resulted in another domestic bilateral T20I series victory (2-1).

Virat Kohli’s 122 was surpassed by Gill’s unbeaten 126 (63 b, 12×4, 7×6), the greatest T20I innings by an Indian hitter. In 18 balls, he scored his last 59 runs.

The 23-year-old has been anticipated as a strong hitter since he was a little child. We could have seen Gill’s maturation as a T20 powerhouse with this knock. Before the game, his T20I strike rate was 128. Five foreigners may be a tiny sample size. But even in the IPL, across 74 games and five seasons, his strike rate is 125. He continued to bat and had a 200-strike rate in this situation.

That account for the irate shout he made after sending a Lockie Ferguson cross-seamer over extra cover for four to celebrate his 54-ball hundred. He smiled and immediately bowed to the spectators and his dugout. Gill was especially tough against speed, riding on the correct bounce to enthrall the Gujarat Titans’ home IPL audience.

Rahul Tripathi had first drawn more applause with his playful shots. While Tripathi’s 44 (22b) was mostly composed of calculated strokes against speed and the use of his feet against spin, Gill radiated class and was consistently snagging boundaries.

Fielders for New Zealand three times lost Gill. He was dropped on 33 in the sixth over at short third man after failing to get a handle on a cut shot attempt off a rising Ferguson delivery. It came at a price.

Indian bowling powerplay effectively ended the contest. Hardik Pandya, the team’s captain, bowled two quick bouncers that caused the wickets of Glen Phillips (2) and Finn Allen (3), both of whom were sensationally caught by Suryakumar Yadav at slip.

Arshdeep Singh, Pandya’s new-ball partner, caused the ball to swing early. He swiftly put a stop to Mark Chapman and Devon Conway’s missions. New Zealand was 7/4 at one point. Enter Umran Malik, who defeated the risky Michael Bracewell (8) and left the guests in disarray at 21/5. They gave up for 66 in 12.1 overs without really being able to rally or close the gap on victory. Pandya was the most successful bowler, with scores of 4-0-16-4.