Shubman Gill Impressed With 52, But Aakash Chopra Said He Doesn't Look Like A Test Opener

Shubman Gill Impressed With 52, But Aakash Chopra Said He Doesn’t Look Like A Test Opener

Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
Shubman Gill (Express photo: Jasbir Malhi)
Shubman Gill impressed the cricketing fraternity with a flamboyant half-century in the first Test match of the two-match home series against New Zealand. India’s Test against New Zealand saw India register 345 after debutant Shreyas Iyer scored 105 but New Zealand started superbly and has crossed 100 runs without losing a wicket.

However, former Indian cricketer, ex-opener turned commentator Aakash Chopra wasn’t impressed and questioned his credentials to open the batting in Test cricket. Aakash Chopra believes that Shubman Gill’s technique makes him vulnerable as an opener.

Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)
Shubman Gill Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Shubman Gill Doesn’t Look Like A Test Opener: Aakash Chopra

Opening the batting alongside Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill scored a free-flowing knock of 52 in 93 balls before pacer Kyle Jamieson dismissed him.

In an interaction, Aakash Chopra said, “Whenever I see him play, he doesn’t look like a Test opener to me. The way he plays inside the line, the outside edge and inside edge are both exposed.”

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

He added, “But when he plays spin, he is tall and uses his feet well, uses the reach very well, his footwork is impeccable and his defense is also solid. The bat is always in front of the pad.”

Shubman Gill has played only 9 Tests and 3 ODIs but is touted as a future star in the making. However, he was injured after the WTC Final and didn’t play any of the 4 Tests against hosts England. Shubman Gill was ruled out due to shin splints suffered during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand. Shubman Gill scored 36 across the two innings in the final which India lost.

Shubman Gill Is A Middle Order Batsman Although He Has Done Well As An Opener: Aakash Chopra

The ex-Indian opener claimed that Shubman Gill is better suited to batting in the middle-order in Test cricket and he will flourish batting lower down the order for India.

“In my opinion, he is a middle-order batter, he has been made to open. He has done well as an opener but his true color and form will be seen when he bats in the middle order,” said Chopra. 

K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. (AFP File Photos)
K L Rahul and Mayank Agarwal. (AFP File Photos)

Before the series, multiple media reports suggested that Shubman Gill would bat in the middle-order with KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal set to open. However, KL Rahul’s injury changed India’s plans. However, these reports left also Aakash Chopra perplexed as Shubman Gill was above Mayank Agarwal in the pecking order.

Chopra said, “People were saying that you should make Shubman bat in the middle order. But Shubman Gill was before Mayank in the pecking order, so why were you sending him down the order. If the slot was made available, it should have been given to the one who had the first right.”

Shubman Gill made his Test debut during the boxing day Test match in Australia last year and played a key role in India’s historic series victory down-under. However, he missed India’s away series against England after sustaining an injury during the World Test Championship (WTC) final.

Although Shubman Gill, who had a successful debut in Australia, started the England home Test series with a 50 as well, it has all gone downhill for him since then. Although he has scored 466 runs so far in 9 Tests averaging 33.29 in his Test career, his last few innings score read: 0, 14, 11, 15*, 0, 28, and 8 before the 52 against New Zealand at home.

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