Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar played down the concerns about opener Shubman Gill’s inconsistency and lack of runs in the ongoing Test series against England after he failed to open his account on Day 1 of the fourth and final Test in Ahmedabad on Thursday.
Gill got out for a duck in the first over of India’s first innings in the final session after England got bowled out for 205 on the opening day. Gill failed to put bat to ball to an in swinging delivery from James Anderson and was adjudged lbw by the on-field umpire. Anderson bowled five successive maiden overs before the close of play on Day 1.
This was Gill’s second duck of the series. The 21-year-old Punjab batsman has recorded scores of 29, 50, 0, 14, 11, 15* and 0 in the series so far.
Gavaskar said Gill might be feeling the pressure of expectations right after his breakout series in Australia where he was India’s fourth-highest scorer after making his debut in in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne last December.
“It’s just a bad patch that anybody can go through. Expectations after the Australia tour were sky high, maybe he’s feeling the pressure of those expectations.
“Also he needs to play a bit straight at the start of the innings, he is playing across the line at the moment which is getting him into trouble,” Gavaskar told India Today.
HIGH PRAISE FOR INDIAN SPINNERS
Gavaskar also praised the Indian spinners – Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin and Washington Sundar – for yet another superb show with the ball which saw India bowling England out on the first day of a Test match twice inside a week.
“Indian spinners and bowlers have bowled really well. England players have not shown the application, determination required to fight it out despite the fact that the odd ball was turning. They were playing down the wrong line, they came in with lot of preconceived ideas.
“Sometimes there can be a lot of theory talk in the change room, but at the end of the day that theory has to be separated from the practical – which is how you play each ball on its merit.
“I don’t think the England batsmen did that and that’s why they find themselves in this position. If they had even got to 250-60 I think they would have got to a good position,” Gavaskar said.
India, who are 2-1 up in the four-Test series, were 24-1 at stumps and will be confident against a spin-heavy England attack with Anderson as the lone frontline seamer, while Stokes battles an upset stomach. Rohit Sharma was batting on eight and Cheteshwar Pujara was on 15 with the hosts 181 behind.