Shubman Gill’s struggles with the bat have raised concerns during India’s second Test against England in Vizag, prompting former Indian coach Ravi Shastri to issue a warning. Gill, recovering from dengue since the 2023 ODI World Cup, has faced a forgettable period with the bat, especially evident in the ongoing Test series.
In the Hyderabad Test, Shubman Gill faced challenges, scoring 23 runs in the first innings and a duck in the second. The 24-year-old continued to struggle in the second Test, being dismissed by James Anderson for 34 runs in India’s first innings. Once hailed as the ‘Prince’ for his stellar performances, Gill’s recent form has prompted questions about his position in the Test squad.
Following Gill’s struggles, Ravi Shastri hinted at the need for young players to step up to secure a spot in India’s XI. Although not directly naming Gill, Shastri’s reference to Cheteshwar Pujara waiting in the wings suggested a message for the struggling batter to improve.
Ravi Shastri highlighted the importance of self-validation, pointing to Pujara’s consistent success in domestic cricket and his impressive run for Saurashtra. “It’s a fresh side, a young side. These youngsters have to prove themselves. Don’t forget, Pujara is waiting. He is grinding it out at the Ranji Trophy and is always in the radar,” emphasized Ravi Shastri during his commentary on the second Test.
The former coach emphasized the crucial nature of staying at the crease in important Tests like the ongoing one against England. While the Indian management focuses on young talents like Yashasvi Jaiswal and Gill, Shastri highlighted Pujara’s experience, especially against bowlers like Anderson.
In assessing Gill’s recent struggles at number 3, Shastri underscored the challenges faced by the young batter, emphasizing the importance of patience and adaptability in Test cricket. Pujara’s scintillating form for Saurashtra in domestic cricket, recently crossing the 7000-run mark for the side, has further elevated the veteran’s standing.
Despite not featuring for the national team since the World Test Championship final in June 2023, Pujara’s match-winning performances may open doors, especially with Shreyas Iyer and Gill encountering difficulties against England on home soil. Shastri’s comments indicate that the Indian team is keeping a close eye on Pujara as a potential reinforcement.