Former England cricketer has jumped to the defence of India batter Shubman Gill after he once again failed to notch up a big score on Day 1 of the second Test against England on Friday, February 02 in Visakhapatnam. Notably, Gill got dismissed for 34 (46) as he chased a wide delivery from James Anderson and edged it straight to the wicketkeeper Ben Foakes. It was his fifth dismissal against Anderson in seven innings.
However, despite his low returns on Day 1, Pietersen urged experts to give the 24-year-old some time as the former England cricketer feels that the right-handed batter has serious talent. He even shared the numbers of legendary South Africa cricketer Jacques Kallis, who averaged 22 with the bat after 10 Tests, to make his point.
“Kallis averaged 22 in his first 10 Tests and turned out to be arguably the greatest player to play the game. Give @ShubmanGill time to find it please. He’s a serious player!,” Pietersen wrote in his X account.
Kallis averaged 22 in his first 10 Tests and turned out to be arguably the greatest player to play the game.
Give @ShubmanGill time to find it please.
He’s a serious player! #INDvENG
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) February 2, 2024
Notably, Gill hasn’t scored a half-century in Tests in his last 12 innings as he registered his last fifty-plus against Australia in Ahmedabad in March 2023. The Punjab-born batter announced his arrival in Tests with a marvellous run during the famous Border Gavaskar Trophy 2020-21 where he amassed 259 runs from six innings at an average of 60.65.
He also scored a valiant 91 on Day 5 of the historic Gabba Test helping India end Australia’s 32-year-long dominance at the venue. However, after his debut series, he hasn’t been able to replicate the same magic scoring just 838 runs from 34 innings at an average of 26.18 with two fifties and two hundreds.
Gill finding it hard at number 3
The 24-year-old has been shifted to number 3 since the West Indies tour in July 2023 and has been struggling massively to make the spot his own averaging 22.30 with the bat at the batting position. With Cheteshwar Pujara plundering runs in the Ranji Trophy 2024 for Saurashtra and the return of Virat Kohli on the cards, Jaiswal finds himself on the verge of being dropped from the side.
Meanwhile, India finished Day 1 on 336/6 with Yashasvi Jaiswal being the lone warrior for the side in the entire day with his splendid knock of 179* (257) with the help of 17 fours and five sixes. After him, Gill was the highest scorer of the team with 34.
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