Former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen has come to the defense of India’s Shubman Gill following his dismissal on Day 1 of the second Test against England. Gill, who was dismissed for 34, faced criticism for his performance, particularly as it marked his fifth dismissal by James Anderson in seven innings.
Kevin Pietersen, however, urged experts to be patient with Gill, highlighting the talent he possesses. Drawing a comparison, Pietersen pointed out the initial struggles of legendary cricketer Jacques Kallis, who later became one of the greatest players in the game despite averaging 22 in his first 10 Tests.
Kevin Pietersen shared on his X account, “Kallis averaged 22 in his first 10 Tests and turned out to be arguably the greatest player to play the game. Give @ShubmanGill time to find it please. He’s a serious player!”
Kallis averaged 22 in his first 10 Tests and turned out to be arguably the greatest player to play the game.
Give @ShubmanGill time to find it please.
He’s a serious player! #INDvENG
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) February 2, 2024
Gill’s recent form has been under scrutiny, as he has not scored a half-century in his last 12 innings. His standout performance came during the Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2020-21, where he impressed with 259 runs at an average of 60.65, including a crucial 91 in the historic Gabba Test. However, since then, Gill has struggled to maintain consistency, accumulating just 838 runs from 34 innings at an average of 26.18, with two fifties and two hundreds.
The 24-year-old’s move to number 3 in the batting order has not yielded significant results, with an average of 22.30 in that position since July 2023. With pressure mounting, especially with Cheteshwar Pujara’s strong performances in the Ranji Trophy and the imminent return of Virat Kohli, Gill’s position in the team appears uncertain.
Despite Gill’s challenges, India ended Day 1 of the second Test on a positive note, reaching 336/6, largely due to a stellar unbeaten innings of 179 by Yashasvi Jaiswal. Gill was the second-highest scorer for the team with his contribution of 34 runs.