What’s bothering the talented Shubman Gill?


The IPL has always played an important role in shaping the careers of young players and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) opening batsman Shubman Gill is no different. There are oodles of youngsters who are plying their trade in the league at present, but ever since making his India debut in Australia, Gill has been the talk of the town.

That he has seen success early in his life in terms of the Under-19 World Cup and Rahul Dravid has played a pivotal role in Gill’s development adds another dimension to his game.
A born leader, Gill has captained teams at almost every level he has played so far and could very lead his present franchise Kolkata Knight Riders, or any other team in the future. Gill has been leading from junior cricket and was the vice-captain of the U-19 team which won the World Cup in 2018.

Early in his career, he has been playing in the middle order but of late- he has occupied the opening spot in Test cricket for India.

However, just like any other cricketer-Gill has suffered a slump in form having only managed 89 runs at an average and strike rate of 16 and 121.21 respectively, and has looked completely out of sorts.

We all saw the rich talent Gill possesses, and for him failing to score a fifty across the last 11 innings including playing with Team India makes grim reading.

The lanky opening batsman’s dip in form has emerged as one of the prime reasons why KKR have not been getting solid starts up top.

2021, for Shubman Gill, has been a trailer of the excruciating highs and lows of the game. He is having a forgettable run in the ongoing IPL and the pressure is piling up faster than he could have ever imagined.

Will Shubman Gill be ditched by KKR?

Gill’s inability to score runs at the top of the order has added pressure on the entire team, and the middle-order has succumbed, including skipper Eoin Morgan. This clearly indicates that he is certainly the most important batsman in their ranks, and if he succeeds, the team does too, and vice versa.

With Shubman Gill failing to deliver for KKR, KKR can now look forward to Sunil Narine. The West Indies allrounder can provide a cracking start during the powerplay overs. Even if he gets out while trying to go after boundaries and sixes, they still have proper batsmen to catch the run rate. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar has often stressed this fact during his commentary.

However, it will be wrong to pin the entire blame on the 21-year-old, as the Knight Riders have also ensured that he has had the rough end of things. They have overestimated his abilities and instead of getting the best out of him, have tried to make up for their failures, by piling up further pressure on a young batsman.

Now the matter of fact is, he hasn’t turned into a bad batsman per se, in a few months’ time.

The road ahead for Shubman Gill

Just like most of the cricketer’s face, Gill stands at a crossroads wondering where the next road lies. That his progression in this year’s IPL from the last season has gone as terribly wrong, does not make him a bad batsman overnight. It is safe to assume that we are in the first half of the tournament, and the youngster will have enough opportunities to bounce back.

While Gill had impressed with lion-hearted performances in international cricket, he is yet to replicate the same in the 14th season of the IPL.

Gill’s Under-19 World Cup captain Prithvi Shaw too had a major slump in form and had a forgettable IPL that was played in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last October. He however roared back in a sensational manner in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in January.

Likewise, Gill is a class act and is no stranger to assessing things well and making smart game plans. The elegant batsman just needs to do that right now and he too shall be back with a bang.

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