IPL 2021: "Shubman Gill will be one of the highest-scoring batsmen by the end of the tournament" - KKR mentor David Hussey

David Hussey. (PC: IPL)
David Hussey. (PC: IPL)
Rudransh Khurana

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) chief mentor David Hussey has asserted that Shubman Gill, despite his hitherto poor returns this year, will conclude IPL 2021 as one of the tournament's top run-scorers.

David Hussey's claim comes against the backdrop of Shubman Gill's dismal outing against the Rajasthan Royals on Saturday. He played 19 deliveries, scoring just 11 runs. The right-hander looked completely lost with his placement and perished while trying to force the pace, a pattern seen throughout the season so far.

However, speaking at the post-match press conference, David Hussey waxed lyrical over the youngster, calling him a 'star player'. Hussey stated that Shubman Gill's class will soon trump his poor form and he will be back among the runs.

"He's a star player, that's the one thing I know. He took the Test match arena by storm in Australia. He is very specific in the way he works nets, he has got a great work ethic and is a rhythmic kid. All I can say is that the form will come and go but class is always permanent. He's one classy individual off the field but an exceptionally talented player on the field. Mark my words, I think he's going to be one of the highest-scoring batsmen by the end of the tournament," said David Hussey in reply to Sportskeeda's query.

This was Shubman Gill's fifth consecutive failure, with his previous 4 scores in the tournament reading 15, 33, 21, and 0. His wicket, followed by an equally poor outing by Nitish Rana, meant that KKR scored a paltry 25 runs in the powerplay on a batting-friendly wicket in Mumbai.

The poor start had an immense impact on the game and the team lost by 6 wickets, stumbling to the bottom of the points table.

"It wasn't a deliberate plan to go that slow" - David Hussey

KKR's openers Nitish Rana(L) and Shubman Gill.
KKR's openers Nitish Rana(L) and Shubman Gill.

KKR's lack of intent at the top of the order was unfathomable. However, one plausible explanation seemed that the recent top-order collapse (31-5) against CSK could have been playing in the minds of the management.

However, David Hussey clarified that there was no 'deliberate' attempt to go that slow in the powerplay. He lauded the opposition bowlers for preventing the KKR batsmen from playing fearlessly.

"It wasn't a deliberate plan to go that slow but full credit to Rajasthan Royals bowlers that they didn't allow us to play Kolkata Knight Riders cricket upfront. I know, Brendon McCullum as a coach would generally like [the openers] to play with a lot of freedom, take the game on and provide a highly entertaining game of cricket. Unfortunately, we couldn't do it tonight but we have got 2 days to turn it around pretty quickly when we play against the Punjab Kings in Ahmedabad." concluded David Hussey.

Edited by S Chowdhury
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