Former West Indies captain Brian Lara reckons Shubman Gill position should not be placed under doubt by the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) management. He feels the young opener is just “a match away from a big score”.
The right-hander has had an underwhelming season so far, averaging 21.09 while striking at 120.21, with the best score of 48.
Brian Lara opined that Gill has gelled well with Venkatesh Iyer, who has been a revelation for KKR in the UAE leg as the left-hander has been taking the opposition bowlers to the cleaners in the powerplay – an aspect which KKR missed out on during the first half of the tournament.
“This guy (Shubman Gill), he is a bit unlucky, if you look at him bat, he is in some form, alright. And I believe he’s just a match away from a big score. I think he gels really well with Iyer (Venkatesh) and I believe that both of them can come together and make something special, but replacing Shubman Gill now is not something that KKR wants to do,” Brian Lara said.
Punjab are not playing great cricket at the moment: Brian Lara
Brian Lara highlighted the shortcoming of the Punjab Kings this season: an inconsistent middle-order has rendered them unable to post big totals; their bowlers have been expensive in the death overs.
The former left-handed batsman feels PBKS do have the capability to qualify for the playoffs but aren’t playing well collectively this season.
“Yeah I think so, they have the capability. They are not playing great cricket at the moment. Their batting has just always been their strength and that has come up very short. Nicholas Pooran, and Chris Gayle got out on a couple of opportunities even their captain as well KL Rahul and they miss Mayank Agarwal.
“So for me, their batting is the one thing that they depended on in the past. They post big totals and try to defend it and if they don’t post big totals, they find it very difficult with the bowling attack that they have,” he added.
Ravi Bishnoi and Mohammed Shami are the big positive in the bowling department, but the batting remains a massive concern for KL Rahul and Anil Kumble.
“Ravi Bishnoi is performing well and Mohammed Shami as you know is a professional and they expect that from him. Their batting has to be clicking and if they do click they give themselves that slight chance, it doesn’t mean that they can pull it off but they give themselves a better chance than they have been giving themselves in recent matches,” Brian Lara concluded.
KKR and PBKS will clash on Friday in Dubai. KKR have acquired 10 points in 11 games, while PBKS have 8 points in 11 matches; a loss for Rahul’s team on Friday would virtually mean curtains for their hopes to reach the playoffs.