'Numbers are not stacking up nicely for him' - Aakash Chopra on Shubman Gill's T20I struggles
Aakash Chopra stressed on Shubman Gill's poor-looking numbers in his initial days as a T20I player for India. The opening batter, who continues to reign supreme in ODIs and builds on his gains in Tests, hasn't been the same pillar of strength and dominance at the top of the order in the shortest format.
Beginning his T20I career earlier in the month against Sri Lanka, Gill's five innings so far have fetched him just 76 runs at a middling SR of 128.81. In the ongoing series versus New Zealand, the 23-year-old has gotten out cheaply on both occasions, getting a top-edge that has flown straight to the fielder's hands.
While the team management under head coach Rahul Dravid and stand-in skipper Hardik Pandya is likely to provide Shubman Gill a lengthy rope in an effort for him to maximise his T20 potential, the criticism on the outside has only grown, especially with more pronounced IPL performers waiting in the wings.
Chopra, the former India Test opener, said it would be too early to criticise the young right-hander but the numbers aren't offering a bright picture about him, which could negatively influence his selection as the next set of India T20Is aren't scheduled until July.
Aakash Chopra on Shubman Gill's T20I trials
"He [Gill] was dismissed off Santner's bowling in the first match and here, Michael Bracewell," Chopra said on his YouTube channel on Shubman Gill. "He is trying to play the pull shot but getting the leading edge, it happened both times. Happens on a turning surface."
"You can't be too critical but numbers are not stacking up nicely for him, that's a problem," he added.
Gill's T20I inclusion was backed by his best IPL season to date for the first-timers Gujarat Titans (GT), whose IPL 2022 campaign he helped succeed with 483 runs at a strike rate of 132.32, including four half-centuries.
But the player is under pressure now to deliver the goods in the final T20I of the series on Wednesday (February 1) in Ahmedabad as the explosive Prithvi Shaw warms the bench in what happens to be his comeback assignment in the shortest format for India.