‘You will get a tight slap from cricket…’: Sehwag bashes Shubman Gill after GT nearly mess up easy chase vs PBKS

Apr 14, 2023 12:02 PM IST

Former India opener Virender Sehwag came down heavily on Shubman Gill after Gujarat Titans nearly messed up their 154-run chase against Punjab Kings.

Shubman Gill was 17 off 9 balls in the powerplay when his opening partner Wriddhiman Saha was dismissed for a quickfire 30 off 19. Gill's strike rate of nearly 200 was the highest he would reach in the IPL 2023 match against Punjab Kings despite batting till the last over of Gujarat Titans' chase. When he was clean bowled while trying to attempt a desperate heave across the line against Sam Curran in the second ball of the last over, GT still needed 6 runs to win. If it wasn't for a Rahul Tewatia lap over short fine leg then in GT captain Hardik Pandya's words, it would have been a 'bitter pill' to swallow for the defending champions.

Virender Sehwag and Shubman Gill
Virender Sehwag and Shubman Gill

This has been the problem with Gill's batting in white-ball cricket, especially in T20s. Despite all the dazzling strokes that he has to offer and the charming starts he more often than not gets off to, his finishing rate is abysmal and worst of all, he tends to slow down a great deal in the middle overs, hurting the team's progress.

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Former India opener Virender Sehwag pointed Gill's strike rate after the powerplay and said he should not think about reaching personal milestones and instead start treating the game according to situations.

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"He scored 67 off 49 balls but when did he reach his fiifty? He reached his fifty off maybe 41-42 balls so in 7-8 balls he has scored 17 more runs. The accelration came there, after he had reached his fifty. If even that had not happened then GT would have chasing maybe 17 instead off 7 in the last over," Sehwag said on Cricbuzz.

Sehwag is spot on. Even the numbers suggest that. Gill was 35 off 22 balls at one stage but he took 18 more deliveries to get to his fifty at less than run-a-ball.

"You can't think let me score a fifty and we will anyway win the match. This is cricket. The moment you think about your own performance (instead of the team), you will get a tight slap from cricket. You can't think like that. If he had showed the same intent and played at close to a strike rate of 200 when he was nearing fifty then he could have reached his milestone a lot earlier and save more deliveries for his team," Sehwag added.

Gill too agreed that he should have finished the match by staying there till the end. "It got slower with the old ball. So we needed to get off to a good start in the powerplay. We lost a bit of momentum when Hardik bhai got out. It wasn't a big score but it was important to rotate the strike and not have dot balls," he said.

The disappointment in captain Hardik Pandya's words in the post-match presentation was also evident. "To be very honest I would not appreciate for the game to go this deep. There was definitely a lot for us to learn from this game... It would have been a tough pill to swallow if the game had gone the other side. I would like to finish the game earlier, not a big fan of taking it to the last over," he said.

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