Shubman Gill scored his first half-century of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 to help Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) secure a crucial win over bottom-ranked Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday.
In a low-scoring affair, opener Shubman Gill scored 57 off 51 balls to help KKR chase 116 to stay in the fourth spot, with qualification for the playoffs still in their hands. Former India batsman Ajay Jadeja, however, remained critical of Shubman Gill and said that several players had moved ahead of the KKR opener since he got injured after the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.
Shubman Gill Didn’t Have A Good Year: Ajay Jadeja
Ajay Jadeja said that Shubman Gill’s Test spot was already in jeopardy following the resurgence of KL Rahul in the recently concluded Test series against England and consistent stellar performances from Rohit Sharma. Ajay Jadeja opined that now in the T20s as well, other young openers like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal, and Ruturaj Gaikwad have surpassed Shubman Gill with their showings this season.
“This year has not been a good one for Shubman Gill. When he came back from injury, other players had moved way ahead of him. Because he had become a favourite in the Indian team after the series in Australia. After his injury, KL Rahul, who wasn’t even in the team, has established himself, Rohit Sharma too. So even his place in the Test squad is now in doubt, and in T20s, all these names are also there ahead of him now,” Jadeja told Cricbuzz.
Shubman Gill was acquired by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and turned in useful contributions for them in his debut season and 2019 season, managing above 200 runs in both editions, averaging about 33. He averaged similarly in 2020, where he managed 440 runs, but he could score only 239 runs in 12 games in IPL 2021, averaging below 20 before this match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Shubman Gill has played only 8 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.
Ajay Jadeja: Shubman Gill Is A Boundary Player As He Doesn’t Take A Lot Of Singles
“The players who score a lot of runs when they are young, they have a great game sense. He has a good idea of the game, so when the game is in control, he won’t throw it away, but if he makes some additions to his skills, he can be even better,” he said.
Ajay Jadeja opined that Shubman Gill has consistently played short knocks that have given KKR the much-needed momentum they need in their innings. Still, he has had an otherwise poor season as he failed to capitalize on good starts and failed to convert starts to big innings.
Ajay Jadeja went on to explain: “He’s not made a big score before this. He has played impressive knocks, but short ones. Whenever an innings has needed some momentum or impetus, he has provided that, so it doesn’t feel like he has had a poor season. “
“But he hasn’t played a long knock after the field has spread after the Powerplay. Because that’s his style. He is a boundary player. He doesn’t take a lot of singles. So when he hits a four, you think oh, what a shot, but then one or two dots around the boundary brings him back to run-a-ball.”
Shubman Gill has scored 296 runs in 13 matches this year, at a strike rate of 117.92. While he had seven half-centuries in the three seasons before this one, this was his first in this edition of the IPL.
Brief Scores: Kolkata Knight Riders 119/4 (Shubman Gill 57, Nitish Rana 25; Jason Holder 2/32) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 115/8 (Kane Williamson 26, Priyam Garg 21; Varun Chakravarthy 2/26) by 6 wickets.