• Tuesday, November 28, 2023


World Cup 2023: Yet-to-fire Shubman Gill focuses on short ball play; India’s long tail prepares to wag

Gill, who is in great touch with the bat this year, missed India’s first two matches due to illness but has scored one fifty in the three games he has played so far.

India’s Shubman Gill plays a shot during their match against Bangladesh in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on October 19, 2023. (ANI Photo)

By: Shubham Ghosh

ACE India opener Shubman Gill focussed on his short ball play as seven Indian cricketers sweated it out under the strong Lucknow sun, two days ahead of their World Cup fixture against defending champions England who are struggling in this edition.

Gill, who has amassed five hundreds this year, is yet to set the World Cup stage on fire after recovering from dengue that forced him to miss the first couple of games.

In three games since then, the classy opener has scored 26, 53 and 16. With 1,325 runs and counting in one-day internationals this year, Gill has looked good in all the innings but has not been able to make it count.

As India look to maintain their unbeaten run in the tournament, a special effort will be expected from Gill, who got out slashing at a short and wide ball against New Zealand in India’s last match in Dharamsala.

However, facing the short ball is something that Gill relishes. The others who attended the optional nets session were Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav. Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin stayed back in the team hotel after turning up on Thursday (26).

The team’s reserve opener Kishan too had a long hit.

India tailenders bat in the nets

Like it was the case on Thursday, all the bowlers also spent a lot of time on their batting skills. India have a long tail which has not been tested considering the stellar form of the specialist batters. Shami, who took five wickets in his first game of the competition against New Zealand, batted after rolling his arm over, while it was the other way around for Siraj.

Thakur and team’s premier spinner Yadav too used their willow in hot conditions.

Towards the end of the session, head coach Rahul Dravid had a rather long look at the red soil pitch. A part of the square has been relaid for the World Cup after Hardik Pandya called the surface for a T20 game against New Zealand earlier this year as a “shocker”.

(With PTI inputs)

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