Shubman Gill Has Been Given the Cushion Even a Cheteshwar Pujara Didn’t Get: Anil Kumble

Last Updated: January 29, 2024, 12:59 IST

Cheteshwar Pujara (left) and Shubman Gill. (BCCI/AP)

Cheteshwar Pujara (left) and Shubman Gill. (BCCI/AP)

Shubman Gill has taken over the no. 3 spot after Cheteshwar Pujara lost his place in India’s Test team last year.

Shubman Gill is facing the heat following yet another failure with the bat. In the first Test against England that concluded with India’s defeat, Gill scored 23 in the first innings and a two-ball duck in the second.

Gill hasn’t scored a fifty in his last 11 innings after his 128 against Australia in the Ahmedabad Test last year. Having made his debut in 2020, the youngster has played 21 Tests and scored 1063 runs at 29.52 including two centuries and four half-centuries.

India spin legend Anil Kumble feels that Gill has to work out a way to deal with the spinners and is current tactics are more suitable for pace-friendly surfaces.

“He (Gill) needs to be a lot freer,” Kumble said on JioCinema. “He needs to score runs. He needs to come up with his own plan of action to tackle spin, because he has hard hands. It’s good for good surfaces where the ball is coming on nicely and the faster bowlers are bowling at you. But when the ball is turning, when it’s slow, you need to use your hands and control and check your shots. That’s something he needs to work on.

“It can’t be one flow all the time. Yes, four days before the next Test, can you work on your skill? I think it’s all the mindset. You can certainly work on your mindset, and you have the best possible person as the coach (Rahul Dravid) to manage that for Shubman Gill,” he added.

Gill began his Test career as an opener but after Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from the squad, has moved to his preferred no. 3 spot.

Kumble feels that unlike Pujara, Gill has ben given a longer rope.

Pujara, a veteran of 103 Tests lost his place in the Test setup after the final of the ICC World Test Championship last where India lost to Australia.

“He (Gill) has been given the cushion perhaps even a Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t get, because although he (Pujara) has played over a 100 Tests, I keep coming back to him mainly because that was his place not too long ago,” Kumble said.

“Pujara played in that World Test Championship final and post that, it’s been Shubman Gill, who’s been moving from the opener’s slot, and he himself wanted to bat at No. 3. So, when you want to bat at No. 3 especially in India because you have that talent, you certainly need to work on your game. He has the skills, he is young and he’s learning, but he needs to do it in Vizag, otherwise the pressure will be on him,” he added.

The 2nd Test of the series starts from February 2 in Vizag.

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