Former India player Sanjay Manjrekar shared that Shubman Gill’s defensive approach cost him his wicket against England on Day 2 of the opening Test in Hyderabad on Friday, January 26. Manjrekar has asked him to play his natural game instead of going into a shell since playing at the No. 3 slot in Test cricket. He further questioned Gill’s feet moments as well as he felt that Gill failed to play backfoot shots against the spinners. as Gill threw away his wicket for just 23 runs off 66 balls.
Manjrekar told ESPNCricinfo: “Shubman Gill’s decision to bat slower than the need of the hour went against him. You’ve to look at the way he got out. You got the impression when he played the shot that he was trying to break the shackles somewhat, trying to hit over the infield. It was a bit of a grind for Shubman Gill. We’ve been talking a lot about backfoot play on turning pitches against spinners and when you look at the backfoot play of Gill, you’ll see that there’s hardly any.”
However, Shubman Gill has failed to do well in red-ball cricket since the 2023 World Test Championship final. He scored 154 runs in three innings, with the best score of 110 against Australia during the Border-Gavaskar Trophy last year as well. After that, he scored 13, 18, 6, 10, 29*, 2, 26, 36, 10, 14* and 23.
“He’s only trying to defend with a pretty rigid bat instead of trying to maneuver it. This is something that I’m sure Shubman Gill will start working on. No better person than Rahul Dravid to be there with him to just encourage him to play more of the backfoot and when he’s on the front, maybe just look to maneuver the ball just a little bit,” Sanjay Manjrekar concluded.