India batsman and hero of ‘The Gabba Test’ against Australia last year, Shubman Gill has said that he is ready to play a role in the middle order to get more opportunities for the national team. Known primarily for playing as an opener, Gill hasn’t got too many chances to don the Indian outfit in all three formats and has not been able to cement his place as a first-choice player in any format and is looking for roles in the middle-order.
While Gill has been a regular in India’s Test setup, he is yet to make his T20I debut and is included in the ODI squad. In the absence of first-choice top-order players in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli, Gill opened the batting along with Shikhar Dhawan in seven of the nine 50-over matches played against West Indies, Zimbabwe, and South Africa this year.
Gill got a chance to represent the national team in the rescheduled fifth Test against England at Edgbaston in July this year. However, he could not hit the ground running as he scored 17 (24) and 4 (3) in his two innings. The player is keen on getting more chances and is ready to play in the middle order if any opportunity comes knocking.
Shubman Gill is ready to play middle order role for India
Gill told ESPNcricinfo: “I believe that the fewer dot balls you play in T20s, the better your strike rate will be Almost all batsmen have the same boundary percentage, but the ones with fewer dot balls have a higher strike rate. In T20s, you need to know what the bowler is trying to do. Those who bowl in a set way, you can dominate them.”
“My game all-round is very good and I rotate the strike well against spinners. So even if I get a chance in the middle order, I am ready for that. If they [the team management] are looking at me in the middle order, then I am ready for it. When I scored that hundred in Zimbabwe, I was batting at one down, and I didn’t open. So, one down or two down, whatever the team needs, I am ready,” he added.
Talking about his experience of playing in England and his maiden country stint with Glamorgan, he said, “In England, you have to concentrate all the time. In those conditions, sometimes you feel you are set, but one spell can throw you off. It’s not like that in India. Here once you reach 40-50, there is a pattern to bat. There is no such pattern in England. You could be batting at 110 and are still not set. No matter what score you are on, you have to be careful [on] every ball.”
Gill has played only one non-opener out of his 21 Test innings. He is also ready to go down the order to get more chances in the Indian Test team. While he is confident of his technique in red-ball cricket, Gill knows his concentration falters when he is in flux.
“The red-ball format is very important to me,” he said. “You get a different type of confidence when you do well in red-ball cricket. I am ready to bat wherever there’s a vacant spot on the side. I don’t think there is anything wrong with my technique. When your concentration is disturbed, or you relax a little bit, and then if a good ball comes, you miss it. I think it always happens with me that I am batting well and then I get out.”