Anil Kumble and Kevin Pietersen suggest key advice for Shubman Gill to bounce back into form


Team India batter Shubman Gill finds himself under scrutiny once again following a disappointing performance in red-ball cricket. During India’s first innings in the opening Test against England in Hyderabad, Gill managed only 23 runs before being dismissed. Despite surviving the initial challenges on the second day after a solid stint at the crease on Day 1, Gill’s innings ended abruptly as he attempted to swat a delivery from debutant English spinner Tom Hartley through mid-wicket,

Anil Kumble’s critique: Unveiling technical flaws and crucial guidance

Criticism poured in from legendary spinner Anil Kumble, who highlighted a significant flaw in Gill’s technique, emphasizing the necessity of playing spin with softer hands and enhancing strike rotation, citing examples from the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara and Rahul Dravid.

“Un par dabaav badhta gaya aur vo strike rotate nahi kar paaye (The pressure kept on growing and he couldn’t rotate strike). He will have to learn this. If he wants to bat at No. 3, especially on Indian tracks where spinners will cause trouble, he will have to rotate strikes,” Kumble was quoted as saying by NDTV Sports.

“Even when he came out to bat yesterday, he took his time as you don’t want to lose your wicket. He got stuck today as well. Wanted to play the release shot against the turn, which i don’t think was the ideal shot. If he has to slot in that no. 3 role like Pujara or Dravid, he will have to rotate strike. He needs to play spin with soft hands and use his wrist. This is something he needs to add to his game,”  the 53-year-old concluded.

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Kevin Pietersen’s extended solutions

Former England batter Kevin Pietersen echoed Kumble’s concerns, stressing the importance of rotational strike in Test cricket. While acknowledging Gill’s talent, Pietersen suggested the young batter diversify his approach to avoid recurring dismissals of this nature. Drawing from his own experiences with Dravid, Pietersen offered insights for the team management to consider in Gill’s development.

“He has somebody in the dressing room who changed my game: Rahul Dravid. I don’t know if he will watch this broadcast, but go and spend time with Gill and do the same stuff he talked to me about. Get him to hit the ball on the off-side, practice picking the lengths better, and rotation of the strike. Do things that will help him become a better player,” Pietersen said during the lunch show on JioCinema.

“He’s a quality player in Shubman Gill, and no, I’m not disappointed in how he got out. I’m disappointed that he has not got that ability yet (to rotate strike). But then, he’s a kid. Give him that ability; give him that structure. If he rotates the strike and learns that from Rahul Dravid, and if the latter takes him under his wings, the world is his,” the 43-year-old concluded.

Shubman Gill’s struggle at No. 3

Gill’s performance in Test cricket has yet to leave a significant impact, with 20 Tests yielding 1040 runs at an average of 30.59, including two centuries and four half-centuries. Initially deployed as an opener, Gill has transitioned to batting at No. 3 for India since West Indies series in 2023 following Pujara’s exclusion from the side. Across nine Test innings at No. 3, Gill has accumulated 189 runs, with a highest score of 47.

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