Ajit Agarkar believes the Kolkata Knight Riders should persist with Shubman Gill at the top of the order despite the young batsman's recent failures. It has been suggested that Sunil Narine could again be used as an opener by KKR, but Agarkar feels the two-time IPL champions should continue to back Gill.
Shubman Gill has had a below-par IPL 2021 campaign so far, with the 21-year-old managing scores of 15, 33, 21, and 0 in four games this season. KKR are currently in the midst of a three-match losing streak and it is believed that the Eoin Morgan-led side are contemplating bringing Gill down the order.
However, former Indian seamer Ajit Agarkar explained that KKR should stick with Gill as an opener and use Narine as a floater in their batting line-up.
"Not yet needed (Narine on top. They (KKR) have got really two good players (on top). Narine can be the floater, which he always is for them, Shubman Gill is okay, he needs to get more runs. He looked good in that one game against Chennai, he has missed out otherwise. He is a terrific player, and he is your future. If you are going to give up on someone after four games, you are never going to help your team," Agarkar said in a chat with ESPNcricinfo.
Agarkar further added that KKR need to play better as a unit to turn around their fortunes in IPL 2021.
"It's just that they need to do better, to start playing better as a team. Not just replacing one or two players at the top. I think, collectively, they have not been good enough," Agarkar concluded.
Shubman Gill's IPL career at a glance
Shubman Gill's opening partner Nitish Rana has been in good form in IPL 2021, with the southpaw scoring 164 runs in four games at an average of 41 this season.
Gill, however, is yet to hit the ground running in the IPL. In 45 IPL matches, Gill averages 31.50, while his strike rate reads 126.47. The youngster's form at the top of the order is crucial for KKR to emerge as a genuine playoff contender.
Gill will receive another chance to showcase his potential when KKR take on the Rajasthan Royals at the Wankhede Stadium tonight.