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I don't like Shubman Gill batting at No. 3: Father Lakhwinder

Last updated on: March 08, 2024 15:53 IST

'He should have continued to open. It is not right at all I feel.'

IMAGE: Shubman Gill, who dropped himself down to No 3 in the Test team, went 12 innings without a fifty before he struck a century in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam last month. Photograph: BCCI

Shubman Gill's first coach and father Lakhwinder says his son stepping out to the bowlers again has allowed him to get back among the runs in Test cricket though he doesn't agree with his decision to bat at No 3.


Pressure was mounting on Shubman following the conclusion of the series opener against England. He had gone without a fifty in 12 innings and was guilty of not playing his attacking game. Playing with hard hands made matter worse.

However, he struck his second Test hundred (and first at No. 3) in the second innings of Vizag Test to silence his critics. It was also his major knock since dropping himself down to number three from the opening spot.

His father, who watched Shubman get to his second hundred of the series with a slog sweep here on Friday, spoke about the reasons that helped the India batter arrest his slide in red ball cricket.

"Stepping out has made a big difference, he had stopped doing that and that created pressure. Since his Under-16 days, he has been stepping out to the spinners and pacers as well to cut the movement," Lakhwinder told PTI.

"The moment you don't play your natural game you are in trouble. The whole game is about confidence, when you get one good innings you are back to your best. Since his U-16 days, he used to make tons of runs."

Gill charged down the track to both spinners and pacers on Friday including against the great James Anderson. In the first hour of play, Gill was at his sublime best as he took two steps to hit Anderson down the ground for a six with dead straight bat.

Lakhwinder loves when his son plays the square cut and cover drive, and, both were on display at the HPCA Stadium in Dharamsala.    

Lakhwinder, who continues to train with Shubman whenever he is home in Mohali, also doesn't agree with his son's decision to bat at three.

"He should have continued to open. It is not right at all I feel. When you sit in dressing room for longer, the pressure tense to increase. Number 3 is not opening neither it is a middle-order spot.

"Plus his game his not like that, it suits the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara who has a defensive game. When the ball is new you get more loose balls, when you come in after 5-7 overs, the ball is still shiny and the bowler is also settled with his length."

However, he is a proud father and respects the decisions taken by his grown up son.

"I don't interfere in his decisions. I just train with him. He is old enough to make his own decsions. I made decisions on his behalf only when he was a teenager," he said.     

He also lauded the BCCI for making Ranji Trophy appearances mandatory for India players when they are not national duty.

"The calendar is so busy that he hardly trains for red ball, it is white ball mainly. That is why it gets tougher against spinners with the red ball. It is good that BCCI has taken this step," said Lakhwinder, who attends majority of Shubman's games in India.

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