Shubman Gill’s recent form has become a growing cause of concern for Team India as it sets its sights on the 2023 World Cup. Although Gill managed an unbeaten half-century against Nepal, his performance in the Asia Cup’s opening match against Pakistan raised eyebrows. He struggled significantly, scoring just 10 runs off 32 balls before falling victim to Haris Rauf. Notably, he encountered difficulties when facing left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi as well.

India's Shubman Gill celebrates after scoring a half-century during Asia Cup match against Nepal(AFP)
India’s Shubman Gill celebrates after scoring a half-century during Asia Cup match against Nepal(AFP)

Gill’s contrasting form was evident when he transitioned from the IPL earlier this year to the international format in June. After ending as the league’s top-scorer, Gill failed to make a significant impact in the World Test Championship final against Australia and during the West Indies ODIs, his scores were 7, 34, and 85. In the T20Is on the same tour, he failed to reach double figures in four out of five matches.

However, it’s important to recognize Gill as a top-quality batsman who has showcased world-class performances for the Indian team. Earlier this year, he notched a remarkable double century in an ODI against New Zealand, demonstrating his incredible skill set. Former Pakistan captain Salman Butt believes that Gill’s struggles lie not in a lack of talent but in his ability to cope with the formidable swing at a certain pace.

“He has faced Nortje who has similar pace. He has faced Rabada and others too. It’s not just pace, it’s also because of the line and length and swing, along with that pace. Shaheen’s skill-set is the factor. This is the same Shubman Gill who pulled Nortje on the front-foot, who took on the likes of Lockie Ferguson when he scored that double century in ODIs. He has performed against bowlers faster than Shaheen,” Butt said on his official YouTube channel.

“Shaheen’s big factor is the late swing with new ball. It troubles most batters. Shubman is new, but Rohit is one of the most experienced players, and he also faced trouble. Kohli also got out. Shaheen has troubled David Warner as well,” Butt further stated.

Important games coming up

India secured their spot in the Super 4 stage of the Asia Cup 2023 with a dominant 10-wicket victory over Nepal in their final Group B match. They now commence their campaign in the second round with a rematch against arch-rivals Pakistan; the initial encounter between the two teams was abandoned due to rain. Shubman Gill will be looking to capitalise on the momentum gained from the Nepal clash as he prepares to face Pakistan’s formidable pace trio once more.