Shubman Gill fails to impress in Test series against SA, here’s what Sunil Gavaskar suggests

With the Indian cricket team conceding a mammoth innings-and-32-run defeat against South Africa in the first Test of the two-match series in Centurion earlier, former cricketers and experts raised questions on the opening batting lineup.

While playing in the second innings, India collapsed on merely 131 after the Proteas put a formidable 408-run score in reply to the visitor’s 245.

Not only did skipper Rohit Sharma fail to make a mark on his India comeback (5 and 0 in two innings), but even youngster Shubman Gill – batting at no.3 – struggled to produce a substantial outing in the first Test. He made two and 26 at the SuperSport Park and fell to pacers Nandre Burger and Marco Jansen in the first and second innings respectively. Gill’s average in Test format is a dismal 31.06 in 19 matches.

Unimpressed with Gill’s batting, legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar advised Gill to take in the different needs of Test cricket as compared to white-ball formats.

ALSO READ: ‘Story could have been different’: Sunil Gavaskar on Ajinkya Rahane factor as IND struggle against SA in 1st Test

“I think he is playing a bit too aggressively in Test cricket. There is a slight difference when you play Test cricket compared to T20I and ODI cricket. The difference is in the ball,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.

“The red ball moves a little more than the white ball in the air and off the pitch as well. It bounces a little more too. He should keep that in mind,” Gavaskar added.

Looking at Gill’s performance in 2023, he had a fine run in the limited-over versions and managed to score only one fifty-plus score in the traditional format in 10 innings in 2023, a hundred against Australia at home in March.

His nine other outings produced scores of 21, 5, 13, 18, 6, 10, 29 not out, 2, 26.

But Gavaskar hoped that Gill would find his range sooner than later.

“Shubman Gill started off his career so well and we praised his shots. We can only hope that he gets back into his form. Hope he trains harder and does well in the future,” said Gavaskar.

Analyzing Gill’s dismissal in the second innings by Jansen, Gavaskar via Sportskeeda said, “The length was very good, it was a fuller length, but Shubman Gill probably made just one mistake. He wouldn’t have been in trouble had he tried to play towards mid-on. He would have got an inside edge. He tried to play towards mid-wicket.”

India will now be aiming to square the series in the second and final Test against South Africa at Cape Town, starting from 3 January.

With agency inputs.

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Published: 31 Dec 2023, 01:04 PM IST

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