'Did you see his dismissals? He's not even the 3rd choice': Ojha on India batter | Crickit
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'Did you see his dismissals? He is not even the third choice': Ojha's harsh verdict on India's 'in-form' youngster

By, New Delhi
Jul 26, 2022 07:53 PM IST

The likes of Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda and Avesh Khan have been given chances to leave an impact. Some have, some haven't. And those who haven't, need to pull up their socks, believes former India spinner and member of the IPL governing council Pragyan Ojha.

India's ongoing tour of West Indies is an opportunity for several young players to make a name for themselves. With one eye on future, the selectors decided to give the seniors a rest and send a young squad to the Caribbean to play the ODIs. The likes of Sanju Samson, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda and Avesh Khan have been given chances to leave an impact. Some have, some haven't. And those who haven't, need to pull up their socks, believes former India spinner and member of the IPL governing council Pragyan Ojha.

Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Shubman Gill are playing the West Indies ODIs. (Getty Images)
Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Shubman Gill are playing the West Indies ODIs. (Getty Images)

Both ODIs went down to the wire, with India winning the match in last-over thrillers. In both matches, the one of the many positives was the form of Shubman Gill. Back in the ODI fold after a long time, Gill looked like a million bucks in both matches, scoring his maiden half-century in the first game and another beautifully crafted 43 in the second, looking good for a century on both occasions.

However, Gill's dismissals are what raises concerns, believes Ojha. In the opening match of the series, he was run out due to a lazy piece of running between the wicket and in the second, he played a Dilscoop that went horribly wrong and ended up in a return catch to the bower. The former India spinner reckons that since Gill is far behind in the pecking order, not making the most of such opportunities may be harmful for the 22-year-old youngster.

"You have three matches. Did you see how he was dismissed in the first two? I am not being critical. When you have such opportunities and the team has given you a chance from the first match of the series, and you have got a brilliant start... you have to convert it, score a big hundred because he's not even the third-choice opener. You're the fourth or fifth. How else will you climb up? You have to get those big runs. Gill is in tremendous form, He will have to think about... one, the way he was run out in the first match. Second, how he got out in the next game, that caught and bowled. It was not needed," Ojha told Jamie Alter on his Glance chat show, The Alternate View.

With there being stiff competition for the opening slot – with the likes of KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan all in the mix, Ojha feels Gill needs to be mindful of his competitors.

"He will have to realise that these opportunities don't come easily and the best example for Gill is Sanju Samson. We all talk about his talent, but because we have got some good wicket-keepers he gets very few opportunities. If KL Rahul was fit, Gill would not have got these chances. You have got the chance, so you better grab it with both hands. He would be more upset because, he got the start and he also has to see that behind him, Ruturaj Gaikwad is also waiting and he has scored plenty of runs in domestic cricket," pointed out Ojha.

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