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    Aakash Chopra doesn’t think Shubman Gill can be a successful Test opener

    Shubman Gill

    Cricket   |   November 26, 2021

     

    Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra is of the opinion that Shubman Gill doesn’t have the technique to play as an opener in Tests. Instead, he is almost perfectly suited as a middle-order batter. Shubman Gill opened the batting for India on Day 1 of the first Test in Kanpur. Despite the quick dismissal of Mayank Agarwal, Gill continued to progress well and played a delightful knock of 52 runs before being dismissed.

    “Whenever I see him play, he doesn’t look like a Test opener to me. The way he plays inside the line, the outside edge and inside edge are both exposed,” said Aakash Chopra. He, however, lauded Gill’s technique of hitting spinners and added that he can be a brute force in the middle overs.

    “But when he plays spin, he is tall and uses his feet well, uses the reach very well, his footwork is impeccable and his defense is also solid. The bat is always in front of the pad.

    “In my opinion, he is a middle-order batter, he has been made to open. He has done well as an opener but his true colour and form will be seen when he bats in the middle order.”

    Shubman Gill suffered a close leg-before call when he came down the trick and tried to hit Ajaz Patel’s delivery. Although the replay showed the ball hitting the stumps, New Zealand didn’t take the review and Gill clung on. Besides that, he was exceptional against the spinners and brought up runs quickly.

    The 22-year-old was cruising at one point and brought up his half-century. However, just after the break, Kyle Jamieson’s delivery rattled his stumps. The in-swinging delivery found a gap between bat and pad and this mode of dismissal is slowly becoming a pattern for the young batter.

    Speaking to ESPN Cricinfo, his Kolkata Knight Riders teammate Dinesh Karthik highlighted that it is not because of a mental issue. The wicket-keeper believes that it is a technical issue and Gill should refrain from getting across the ball.

    “There’s a technical issue with him, he goes slightly across, and when you go across the ball then you tend to throw hands at the ball. That creates a bat-pad gap. Whereas if you stay slightly beside the ball and allow it to come to you, then you can play it – which is the right way to do it. As I saw the dismissal, it was clear that there’s just one technical issue that he needs to work on.

    “There’s nothing mental about it because he knows how to get big hundreds. This is a technical thing that he needs to work on so that he can be consistent in red ball cricket and this is also going to help him play white ball cricket better as well,” Karthik concluded.

     

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