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India is trying to improve on chasing on slow turners, says Shubman Gill

BySandeep Patel

Sep 16, 2023


Full focus: Gill said a miscalculation on his part led to his dismissal at a crucial juncture in the chase against Bangladesh.

Full focus: Gill said a miscalculation on his part led to his dismissal at a crucial juncture in the chase against Bangladesh.
| Photo Credit: AFP

Washington Sundar’s addition as back-up to injured Axar Patel for the Asia Cup Final squad has an underlying message. The allrounder is ahead of his Tamil Nadu spinner, R. Ashwin, in India’s World Cup scheme of things.

The left-handed batter, whose offspin prowess has come to the fore frequently, especially in T20 cricket, joined the squad on Saturday afternoon as the team management awaited Axar’s scan reports ahead of Sunday’s title clash against Sri Lanka.

Batting depth

Sundar’s addition is also in sync with the team management’s insistence on bolstering lower-order batting. On the slow turners in Sri Lanka, batting deep, especially in a moderate run-chase, is paramount. It was highlighted during India’s loss against Bangladesh on Friday.

Batting on pitches that assisted the tweakers has been an issue for India. It struggled in Bangladesh at the end of 2022, then versus Australia in Chennai in March this year. The latest addition to this was on Friday, at Khettarama, after having rested key batters, including Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya.

Shubman Gill, the centurion on Friday, admitted India has been working on this area.

“It is not a concern. But it is definitely an area that we are trying to improve on. We had a camp in Bangalore before coming here, and we were practising on similar wickets,” said Gill, whose 121 went in vain as India lost by six runs.

“We know the World Cup is such a long tournament and as we go deeper into the tournament, the wicket tends to get slower. But yeah, it is not easy for batters who are coming in to rotate the strike and minimise those dot balls. That’s what we are looking to work on as a batting unit and bowling group.”

Despite anchoring the chase with his fourth ODI hundred in 2023, Gill failed to finish the game off. The youngster acknowledged it as a learning.


“There is so much adrenaline when you are batting. Sometimes you miscalculate and it was a miscalculation on my part. If I would have batted a bit normally or not that aggressive then we should have gotten over the line,” he said.

“These are the kind of learnings that I would like to take as a batter and fortunately this wasn’t the final.”

Gill added that winning the final is extremely important for India to create “a winning habit” and start “peaking at the right time” ahead of the marquee event.

“Winning here will give us a lot of momentum and confidence going into the World Cup,” he added.


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