Former Pakistan opener Salman Butt feels that Shubman Gill’s dismissals in the Kanpur Test against New Zealand reflect that there is something wrong with his mental framework. According to Butt, Gill seems to be going out to bat, expecting short balls, and even plays length balls accordingly.
22-year-old Gill was bowled by Kyle Jamieson in both innings of the first Test. He made 52 in the first innings and 1 in the second.
Having watched the young Indian opener’s dismissals, Butt pointed out that his issues were more mental than technical. Speaking on his YouTube channel, he said:
“I thought Shubman Gill's technique is very tight but, I think, mentally he is expecting something else. Looking at his feet movement, I feel that he is expecting short-pitched stuff. I don’t know why but this is a mental side of his game that seems rather visible.”
With both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul unavailable for the New Zealand series due to varied reasons, Gill got an opportunity to open the innings in Kanpur. He is likely to open in the second Test as well, but there are doubts over his opening partner, with Mayank Agarwal having registered twin failures.
“I don’t think Pujara has a technical issue” - Salman Butt
Team India’s no.3 Cheteshwar Pujara had another disappointing game, as he was dismissed for 26 and 22. According to Butt, Pujara too seems to have a mindset problem as sometimes he bats freely and, on other days, he goes into his shell. Butt elaborated:
“I don’t think Pujara has a technical issue. He showed some intent while scoring runs in England. But when he decides to play his favorite game, which is to defend even if the ball is there to be hit, then he bats for more than an hour and doesn’t do anything.”
Elaborating on Pujara's batting, Butt added:
“Today, he scored 22 off 33 balls, so he was a bit positive. Otherwise, he takes 70 balls to score as many runs. Pujara didn’t need to play that short ball but this is what Kyle Jamieson can do. Batters make such mistakes because of his pace and height.”
While Pujara took only 33 balls to score 22 in the second innings, he needed 88 balls for his 26 in the first.