Aakash Chopra believes Shubman Gill does not have the requisite technique for a Test opener and that his real game will come to the fore once he bats in the middle order.
Gill played a pleasing 52-run knock in India's first innings on the opening day of the Kanpur Test against New Zealand. However, he was bowled through the gate by Kyle Jamieson just after the lunch break.
While reflecting on Shubman Gill's knock during a discussion on Star Sports, Aakash Chopra highlighted that the 22-year-old's technique is not suited to bat at the top of the order. He explained:
"Whenever I see him play, he doesn't look like a Test opener to me. The way he plays inside the line, the outside edge and inside edge are both exposed."
On the flip side, the former India opener added that Shubman Gill has an almost perfect technique against the spinners. Chopra observed:
"But when he plays spin, he is tall and uses his feet well, uses the reach very well, his footwork is impeccable and his defense is also solid. The bat is always in front of the pad."
Although Gill survived a close leg-before call against Ajaz Patel early in his innings, he was comfortable against spin for the majority of the time he spent in the middle.
"In my opinion, Shubman Gill is a middle-order batter" - Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra feels Shubman Gill's true potential will come to the fore once he bats in the middle order. He said:
"In my opinion, he is a middle-order batter, he has been made to open. He has done well as an opener but his true color and form will be seen when he bats in the middle order."
However, the 44-year-old was also slightly perplexed by reports that suggested Mayank Agarwal would have been preferred ahead of Shubman Gill as an opener before KL Rahul got injured. Chopra stated:
"People were saying that you should make Shubman bat in the middle order. But Shubman Gill was before Mayank in the pecking order, so why were you sending him down the order. If the slot was made available, it should have been given to the one who had the first right."
With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul likely to be India's first-choice Test openers, there have been reports that Gill is being considered as a middle-order option. However, the stylish batter had to bat at the top of the order after KL Rahul was ruled out of the series due to a thigh injury.
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