'Even Azharuddin went through a similar phase': Former coach says there's 'no need to panic' about Shubman Gill

  • India vs England: Gill's roller-coaster form reminds the ex coach of former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin.
Mohammad Azharuddin (L) and Shubman Gill. (Getty Images)
Mohammad Azharuddin (L) and Shubman Gill. (Getty Images)
Updated on Mar 09, 2021 05:14 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad feels there's no need to lose sleep over Shubman Gill's string of low scores against England, saying that the 21-year-old is still only starting off in international cricket and such things are bound to happen to any young cricketer early in his career.

Gill had a fine start to his Test career. Included in India's Playing XI for the second Test against Australia in December, Gill tallied 259 runs from four Tests, scoring two half-centuries, which included a career-best 91 in the final innings of the Brisbane Test. However, Gill has since been bogged down by inconsistency during the Test series against England.

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After scoring 29 and 50 in the first game, Gill has managed to score 43 runs from five innings, including two ducks. Gill is only seven Test matches old, but his roller-coaster form reminds Gaekwad of former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, who too had a glittering start to his Test career but had to endure a lean period shortly after.

"No need to panic, because these things do happen. Shubman has a good temperament to play at this level and can take pressure as well, which is a great quality," Gaekwad told Telegraph.

"Even (Mohammed) Azharuddin went through a similar kind of phase. When he came in, he got three hundreds in a row and thereafter there was a lull of around six to eight months. So this is what international cricket is all about. Once your weaknesses are detected, the harder it becomes for you. So the quicker you get over these problems, the better you’ll be in time to come."

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Gaekwad weighed in on the technical aspects of Gill's batting, explaining how there are a couple of things the batsman is doing wrong. He was found wanting against James Anderson and the swing he generated with the new ball, and while facing swinging deliveries early on, Gaekwad reckons Gill can make slight adjustments to ensure he is better equipped.

"I found his footwork a little less this time than how it was in Australia. That could be because of the uncertainty in the wickets, but then, that is of utmost importance. Second, he shouldn’t play away from the body. He has been doing so of late and that’s where he got into trouble. For openers, on any wicket, it’s important to play late and close to the body – let the ball come in and not reach towards the ball," Gaekwad added.

"Your movement should be as less as possible at the time of delivery. You also have to be steady; your balance has to be right, and you can’t be falling on the off side. These are small things though and can be rectified in time. But he has to do it in order to progress further."

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