Former India opener Wasim Jaffer reckons that Shubman Gill needs to work on a few technical aspects of his batting to succeed at the highest level. Jaffer highlighted that Gill has a tendency of playing even the deliveries pitched on a fuller length from deep inside his crease, but he advised him to tweak his feet movement.
Jaffer’s comments came after the young batter was dismissed by Kyle Jamieson after a well-compiled half-century in the opening Test against New Zealand in Kanpur. Notably, Gill was hit plumb on pads by Ajaz Patel early on in his innings, only for New Zealand players to not appeal convincingly. He looked fluent later but played on Jamieson eventually to cut his innings short at 52, including five fours and one six.
Gill, meanwhile, was expected to be slotted in the middle-order in the series, but had to open alongside Mayank Agarwal as India lost KL Rahul to injury.
“He needs to be ready for the fuller balls. He goes deep in his crease and likes to play the backfoot shots. But he opens the batting in IPL [for Kolkata Knight Riders]; opens the batting in white-ball cricket, and all the junior cricket he has played has also been at the top order, so if he wants to play in the middle order, it [playing the fuller balls] is something he needs to work on and get better at. Because that is the length international bowlers will bowl,” Jaffer told ESPNcrincinfo on being asked about the technical changes required to bat in the middle order.
“[On his trigger movement] He does go very deep into the crease in his and plays it from there, but it’s all about getting his head forward to the ball. Sometimes he just hangs back a bit even to the fuller balls and then throws his bat at the ball. That is something he does not need to do,” Jaffer added.
Recalling Gill’s dismissal from the previous series against Australia and England, Jaffer said: “He did get out to Mitchell Starc in Australia, and to James Anderson in the England series. So, he needs to get his head forwards towards the ball, and get his back leg coming forward rather than hanging [it] back.”
Meanwhile, India found themselves well-placed at the end of the first day, with debutant Shreyas Iyer notching up a half-century, alongside Ravindra Jadeja, as the duo rebuilt the innings after the loss of Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara.