Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer has hailed Shubman Gill as ‘special’ but has also urged the cricketing folklore to not put undue pressure on the 21-year-old by comparing him with another great batsman and let him carve his own identity.
Gill, who had replaced his former U-19 and India A teammate, Prithvi Shaw, impressed everyone with his prodigious skills, his ability to time the ball with perfection, and also his steely temperament as he endured baptism with fire against one of the best fast bowling attacks of the current era.
Gill couldn’t have imagined more hostile conditions to bat in during his maiden Test innings. After having lost his opening partner Mayank Agarwal in the very first over of India’s first innings, the Punjab opener countered the Aussie quicks with remarkable maturity and class. He respected the good balls but did not miss out on any opportunity to score runs. He displayed his full repertoire of strokes which included disdainful cover-drives and straight-drives, backfoot punch, and the pull-stroke.
Shubman Gill’s remarkable composure coupled with sizzling strokes ensured that India did not any more wicket on the first day and although he failed to notch up his maiden half-century, he had shown enough signs that he is indeed the real deal.
Gill has been garnering huge plaudits from fans as well as former cricketers and pundits. Fans have already started comparing the 21-year-old with the current and past greats and it’s something that Wasim Jaffer has appealed to refrain from. Jaffer added that Indian cricket has lost a lot of great talents in the past because of undue pressure and unreal expectations.
‘Shubman is special but please let him enjoy his cricket and grow into his career. Don’t compare him to anyone and put undue pressure on him. He’s not the next somebody he’s first Shubman Gill. We’ve lost many great talents due to undue pressure and unreal expectations. #Shubmangill” Wasim Jaffer wrote.
Shubman is special but please let him enjoy his cricket and grow into his career. Don't compare him to anyone and put undue pressure on him. He's not next somebody he's first Shubman Gill. We've lost many great talents due to undue pressure and unreal expectations. #Shubmangill
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Shubman Gill carried from where he had left in the first innings, as he played some cracking shots which include authoritative straight-drive, sumptuous cover-drives. Despite India losing a couple of early wickets in the form of Mayank Agarwal and Cheteshwar Pujara, the youngster continued to play his shots, eventually staying unbeaten at 36-ball 35 in the end as India overhauled the total with 8 wickets still in the end.