Former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar has highlighted Shubman Gill’s problem with his footwork, which has been troubling him at home and now in England, saying the young opener must work on his footwork.
The 21-year-old has been struggling to score lately after his impactful outing on the memorable Australia tour earlier this year and yet again failed to give Team India a good start in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand at The Ageas Bowl, Southampton.
Manjrekar said Gill is getting surprised by the ball coming into him because he is looking to get on the front foot for the pitched up deliveries and that’s where he needs to work on, saying the young right-hander must stop depending on his front foot play all the time while in England.
As reported by ESPNCricinfo, Manjrekar said: “He will have to work on his footwork, something that is obvious for everyone to see. He is getting outside the crease to the ball that leaves him and then the ball coming back in becomes a problem.”
The commentator further added, “With Shubman Gill it's always the front foot. Right through this Test match not once have I seen him going back. He is really focused on making sure he doesn't get out to the ball that is pitched up. There was a lot of talk in Australia of his front pad not going far enough and him getting caught in the crease so he is working excessively on that.”
Gill has scored 28 runs off 64 balls in the first innings before being dismissed by Neil Wagner while he fell to Tim Southee for just 8 runs off 33 balls, as he got trapped in front of the stumps by a ball that swung into him in the second innings in the ongoing WTC 2021 Final in Southampton.
Manjrekar said on Gill’s dismissal on Day 5 of the WTC Final: “Today again he got caught up in making sure that front pad is across and worried about the out-swinger. He left some balls beautifully but then the one that came back in surprised him.”
However, the former Indian cricketer lauded Gill for his talent saying the Punjab lad a similar tendency to other Indian stalwarts Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli.
He signed off, “It is the kind of footwork where you see from batters when you are playing in Australia in grounds like Adelaide where the ball just shoots along the ground. In that case, come what may, you have to come on the front foot. You see that with Pujara, with Gill, that is Virat Kohli's basic game. I am a little skeptical if it is the right way to go about to be on the front foot all the time (in England).”