Failures are costlier than ever in the Indian team now, especially if you are in the early stages of your international career. It is hard anyway to first break into the squad and then the eternal struggle to get into the XI and when you do, you cannot afford to let that opportunity go begging. If you slip in your first couple of attempts, chances are high that you may not get another. It will be difficult to hold on to your spot as there are at least two cricketers fighting for every spot in the Indian side. Shubman Gill finds himself in a similar situation.
After forcing into the T20I side with some incredible performances opening the batting in ODIs, the right-hander failed to notch up a noteworthy score in the two opportunities that he got in the ongoing series against Sri Lanka. He was LBW for 7 off Maheesh Theekshana in the series opener in Mumbai and in the second match in Pune, he horribly mistimed a short-arm flick off Kasun Rajitha to get holed out in mid-on for 5.
Now, there are already talks of replacing Gill at top of the order with Ruturaj Gaikwad. Former India opener Wasim Jaffer believes Gaikwad should play in the series decider in Rajkot on Saturday. Gaikwad was in impeccable form for Maharashtra in the Vijay Hazare Trophy – India’s domestic 50-overs tournament – scoring five hundreds including a double century in just 5 matches.
“I think Ruturaj Gaikwad should get a chance. He has scored a lot of runs (in domestic cricket). He was outstanding in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Shubman Gill, on the other hand, hasn’t been in great touch in the previous two matches. He has been disappointing. I will be tempted to play Ruturaj Gaikwad. He has been warming the benches for quite some time now,” Jaffer said.
Interestingly, Gaikwad was the one Gill replaced in the XI after the former managed only one 50-plus score in the 9 T20Is that he played.
Jaffer said there was no need to tinker with the bowling line-up despite a nightmarish day with the ball for young Arshdeep Singh, who bowled a world record five front-foot no-balls in the previous match.
“In the bowling department, I will back Arshdeep Sinch even though he had a forgetful day (in the 2nd T20I). You need to back him in this situation so that his confidence doesn’t take a further hit. Apart from the one change in the batting department, I don’t see any other changes in the XI,” he added.