Sunil Gavaskar is of the opinion that Shubman Gill, who perished for a third-ball duck on Thursday, is going through a ‘rough patch’ and might finally be feeling the heat of undue expectations. After an electric start in Australia, Gill is currently averaging 19.83 in the ongoing series vs England.
Shubman Gill entered the England series as the hottest young property in world cricket, and a fighting half-century in tough conditions in the second innings of the first Test made the world believe that a breakthrough series was imminent. However, since that very knock, it has been a titanic struggle for the youngster. Gill has registered scores of 0, 14, 11, 15* and 0 in five innings since the half-century in Chennai, and has looked at sea against the English seamers, who have accounted for him five times this series.
Thus, rightfully, concerns have been raised about the withering form of the 21-year-old, but, according to Sunil Gavaskar, there is no real reason to panic. Gavaskar admitted that Gill might finally be feeling the pressure of expectations, but played down the slump and labelled it as a mere rough patch.
"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," Gavaskar told India Today.
"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 added.
Gill has not been the only batsman who has endured a torrid time as the entire English batting line-up, post the first innings in Chennai, have found it excruciatingly difficult to buy a run. On day 1 of the fourth Test, they were bowled out for a paltry 205 in conditions good for batting and mental scars, it seemed, dictated their approach. Gavaskar reckoned that a lot of premeditation led to the demise of many an English batsman.
"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.”
Despite not impressing with the bat, England bounced back with the ball on Day 2, reducing India to 80-4 at lunch.