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From a young player of whom a lot is expected, Shubman Gill did feel the pressure, admits Rahul Dravid

Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has claimed that there was no internal pressure on Shubman Gill despite his lack of big scores ahead of the Visakhapatnam Test. However, he admitted that the young man did feel the pressure, given the high expectations placed on him.

Dravid’s comments come amid reports that the batsman was given an ultimatum to perform or face the ax ahead of the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. The 24-year-old had failed to register even a half-century in South Africa and was dismissed cheaply in both innings as India lost the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs.

Under fire for his place in the Test team, Gill scored a decisive 104 in the second innings to restore faith in the selectors and the team management.

When asked his assessment of the batsman’s effort, Dravid said:

“He came into this test match under external pressure. Internally we have had a lot of confidence in Shubman and we know his class and his ability. We have seen how good a player he has been. Even in this bad patch, he is actually the one who got us a hundred in Chittagong and a hundred in Ahmedabad.

“From a young player from whom a lot is expected, he obviously felt the pressure. Really happy with the way he played those innings. It was fantastic: the control, the fight. It was necessary for him to suffer a lot of pressure at various times,” the 51-year-old added.

Dravid also opined that Gill would be disappointed if he did not go on to convert his hundred into a big one.

“I’m sure you’ll be a little disappointed. He would have liked to move on and make a much bigger century,” commented the Indian legend.

Gill was dismissed for 104 off 147 balls, a knock that included 11 fours and two sixes. He attempted a reverse sweep off Shoaib Bashir but ended up giving a simple catch to the keeper.

“He is also learning along the way” – Dravid on Shubman Gill’s inconsistency

While Gill has been excellent in the one-day format, his consistency in red-ball cricket has been hugely disappointing.

Dravid, however, supported the 24-year-old and praised his commitment and attitude.

“For us he ticks all the boxes as someone who is desperate to succeed in all three formats of the game. He has the ability and he is a young man. He is also learning along the way. He will have some stumbles, some good periods in his career. Let’s go to having to move on at times, knowing that we have someone who is trying his best to become a very good player in all three formats,” Dravid concluded.

In 22 Tests, Gill scored 1,201 runs at an average of 31.60, with three hundred and four fifties.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert.



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