Virender Sehwag, the former Indian cricketer, reckons that Shubman Gill has been playing with ‘hard hands’ due to which the latter hasn’t tasted much success in the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). In the ongoing tournament, Gill has only managed 80 runs at an average and strike rate of 16 and 121.21 respectively and has looked completely out of sorts.
On Saturday against Rajasthan Royals (RR), the Fazilka-born Gill managed a laborious 19-ball 11 with one four before a direct hit from Jos Buttler at the non-striker’s end brought an end to his misery. Sehwag feels that Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) need to promote either Sunil Narine or Rahul Tripathi as an opener and therefore allow Shubman to get his eyes in before teeing off.
Sehwag said that Nitish Rana, who’s KKR’s leading run-scorer this season, should be sent at number four to provide more stability to the middle order.
Shubman Gill is building pressure on himself: Sehwag
“See, I feel he’s a long-format player like the ODIs and Tests. In T20s, one has to hit boundaries at will. Either this or you play a role where you don’t have to hit boundaries but just play safely at one end,” Sehwag told to Cricbuzz.
“That’s why I suggest that KKR put him at one end and push Nitish Rana at 4 and open with Sunil Narine or Rahul Tripathi who can cash in on the powerplay for Shubman Gill. Because if Shubman Gill can play out the first six overs he can easily hit boundaries against the likes of (Rahul) Tewatia and Shivam Dube,” he stated.
“At the moment, he’s playing with very hard hands where neither he’s been able to time the ball nor collect runs. He’s the kind of player who depends on timing to find gaps and if that doesn’t go his way, he tends to build pressure on himself,” Sehwag added.
On April 24, the Knights lost their fourth game in a row and went down to the bottom of the points table. The Royals beat the Men in Gold and Purple by six wickets after restricting them to 133 for nine in 20 overs. KKR are next set to face the Punjab Kings (PBKS) on Monday, April 26 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
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