Team India conceded a mammoth innings-and-32-run defeat against South Africa in the first Test of the two-match series in Centurion earlier this week. The side endured a disappointing performance with the bat, as India collapsed on merely 131 in the second innings after the Proteas put a formidable 408-run score in reply to the visitor’s 245. While captain Rohit Sharma failed to make a mark on his India comeback (5 and 0 in two innings), youngster Shubman Gill – batting at no.3 – saw his struggles continuing in the red-ball format.
The right-handed batter scored 2 and 26 across both innings; his average in Test format is a dismal 31.06 in 19 matches, and many have started questioning his place in the XI. India’s former batter Sunil Gavaskar, however, believes that Gill needs to curb his aggression while playing in the longest format.
“I think he is playing a bit too aggressively in Test cricket. There is a slight difference when you play Test cricket vs T20I and ODI cricket. The difference is in the ball. The red ball moves a little more than the white ball in the air and off the pitch as well. It bounces a little more too. He should keep that in mind,” said Gavaskar on Star Sports.
“Shubman Gill started off his career so well and we praised his shots. We can only hope that he gets back into his form. Hope he trains harder and does well in the future,” said Gavaskar.
Gill has had a solid year in 2023 but his Test performances continue to invoke doubt over his credentials in the longest format so far. This year, he breached the 50-run mark only once in 10 innings, when he slammed a century during a Test against Australia in March. In all other innings, his scores read 21, 5, 13, 18, 6, 10, 29*, 2, and 26.
With a chance at securing a first-ever Test series win in South Africa lost, Rohit Sharma’s men will now aim at levelling the series when they face the Proteas in the final Test in Johannesburg. The last time India drew a series in South Africa was in 2011/12 under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.