Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag has shed light on Shubman Gill’s struggles in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. Gill has scored 80 runs in five matches for Kolkata Knight Riders at an average of 16.
Gill has gone past the 20-run mark on two occasions but Hussey believes the talented batsman will end the tournament as one of the highest run-getters. The right-hander from Punjab, had a dream start to his Test career as he scored 259 runs against Australia in the three Test matches he played. Gill also played a match-winning knock of 91 runs in the historic Gabba Test match.
However, he wasn’t able to continue the same form against England in the four-match series as he could only muster 119 runs in seven innings at a paltry average of 19.83. Gill hasn’t been able to turn the tide in his favour in the five matches of the IPL and has failed to give a good start to his team.
Sehwag believes Gill’s game is well suited to longer formats and he is struggling as one has to hit the ground running in the T20 format. The former Indian opener feels KKR should rejig their batting order and should push Nitish Rana at number four whereas they should open with Sunil Narine and Gill, as the West Indian will give more freedom to the youngster to play his natural game of holding one end up.
“See, I feel he’s a long-format player like the ODIs and Tests. In T20s, one has to hit boundaries at will. Either this, or you play a role where you don’t have to hit boundaries but just play safely at one end. That’s why I suggest that KKR put him at one end and push Nitish Rana at 4 and open with Sunil Narine or Rahul Tripathi who can cash in on the powerplay for Shubman Gill,” Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.
Sehwag feels KKR can get the best out of Gill if he is asked to play the anchor’s role while opening the innings, like he had done in the previous season.
“Because if Shubman Gill can play out the first six overs he can easily hit boundaries against the likes of (Rahul) Tewatia and Shivam Dube,” Virender Sehwag added.
“At the moment, he’s playing with very hard hands where neither he’s been able to time the ball nor collect runs. He’s the kind of player who depends on timing to find gaps and if that doesn’t go his way, he tends to build pressure on himself,” Sehwag further said.
“His role should be something like last year, where he hogs at one end, and Sunil Narine, Rahul Tripathi, and Andre Russell hit boundaries at will from the other end.
Meanwhile, Gill had scored 440 runs in 14 matches of IPL 2020 but his strike rate was a mundane 117.96. KKR will now move to Ahmedabad, where they will face Punjab Kings at the Narendra Modi Stadium on 26th April.