Shubman Gill has been given the cushion perhaps even Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t get: Anil Kumble | Cricket News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: The troubled Shubman Gill, according to former India captain Anil Kumble, has been given the kind of “cushion” that veteran Cheteshwar Pujara never received. The young batter must perform well in the second Test against England or else he would be under a lot of pressure.
In his last 11 Test innings, 24-year-old Gill has not scored a half-century. In March last year, he made a century-plus score in India’s first innings against visiting Australia in Ahmedabad, but since then, his best score has been 36.
In the first Test match in Hyderabad against England, which India lost by 28 runs on Sunday, Gill scored 23 and 0 in the two innings.
“He (Gill) has been given the cushion perhaps even a Cheteshwar Pujara didn’t get, although he (Pujara) has played over a 100 Tests,” Kumble said on ‘JioCinema’.

“I keep coming back to him (Pujara) mainly because that was his place (No 3) not too long ago. 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.”
After his last Test match, which was against Australia in the World Test Championship final in June 2023, the 36-year-old Pujara was ignored. Earlier last month, he made a double hundred (243 not out) in a Ranji match. Prior to the commencement of the England series, Indian captain Rohit Sharma declared that younger players were being given preference in an effort to look ahead.
Kumble stated that Gill needs to improve his mentality and make a few minor technical adjustments for the second Test, which begins on February 2.
“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 (in second Test), otherwise the pressure will be on him,” he observed.

“He needs to be a lot freer, score runs. He needs to come up with his own plan 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.”
But can Gill change his skill sets just four days before the next Test?
“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 pointed out.
Although Indian hitters are renowned for their superior spin play, England outwitted them in this first Test match. In the remaining games, Kumble urged the Indians to think creatively.
“India certainly need to buckle up with their approach to playing against spin because I felt the approach of a couple of batters wasn’t positive and even the footwork wasn’t what you expected.

“I also felt that they were certainly rattled by the way England approached their batting and with that, they have to come up with plans, some unconventional ones,” he said.
Kumble also spoke on the likelihood that wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav will be included in the starting XI for the second Test.
“I am not really sure whether you need a fourth spinner. But if India feel that they need only one fast bowler, then having Kuldeep will certainly help. He will have variations but England will come and do the same things they did in Hyderabad,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)



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