The pressure of expectation is weighing him down, Sunil Gavaskar explains what’s wrong with Indian star batsman

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Sunil Gavaskar

New Delhi: Former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar reckons that talented batsman Shubman Gill is getting bogged down under the pressure of expectations. Gavaskar has also proposed another new opening pair for KKR. He believes there is a case for KKR to attempt Rahul Tripathi and Sunil Narine as openers in IPL 2021.

Gill, who had a dream start to his Test career in Australia was seen struggling with the bat in IPL 2021. It wasn’t too long ago that Shubman Gill was the talk of the town. Making his Test debut against Australia Down Under, the young India batsman impressed everyone with his unbeaten batting skills and scores of 91, 50 and a couple of more. Last year he finished as KKR’s leading run-scorer with 440 runs, this year his big scores have dried up as the 21-year-old scored only 132 runs in 7 matches.

“I think what I feel about Shubman Gill is that suddenly, the pressure of expectation is getting to him. Before this, it was different. He was just a young promising newcomer, but now with the performances in Australia, the expectation is that he is going to score, and maybe that pressure of expectation is weighing him down,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

The former Indian opener opined that Gill is just 21, and needs to let go the mental pressure and calm himself and focus more on the shots he plays and what better way to do it than starting to enjoy his batting. “He just needs to relax. He is just a 21-year-old kid. There will be failures and he has to learn from those failures. He’s just got to open and play freely, without worrying about expectations. The runs will come if he plays his natural game. Trying to play across the line and trying to score off every delivery because of the pressure of expectation, he’s actually getting himself out,” Gavaskar added.

Given the new struggles of Nitish Rana and Shubman Gill at the opening combination of the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gavaskar believes this is the right time for KKR to give a chance to Rahul Tripathi and Sunil Narine as openers in IPL 2021.

“I think KKR have to make up their minds whether Sunil Narine opens the batting with Shubman Gill or Rahul Tripathi opens the batting. With Shubman Gill also struggling and not quite there; maybe there is a case for Tripathi to open with Sunil Narine. Nitish Rana, in the years that he has been very successful for KKR, he has been batting at No.3. So, if Rahul Tripathi can open the batting, which he used to do earlier on for the other franchises, maybe that’s the way to go for Rana,” Sunil Gavaskar added.

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