All three star batters in India’s top order – Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shubman Gill – departed without contributing much with the bat in India vs Pakistan Asia Cup 2023 match on Saturday. Wrecker-in-chief Shaheen Afridi caused a major collapse in India’s top order with the new ball. Pakistan’s pace attack did quite well and was about to take total control until Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya stabilised their team’s sinking ship with a century partnership, helping India put a respectable 266-run total on the board. Sharing his opinion on India’s top order’s bitter collapse vs Pakistan, former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar said while Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli lost their wickets on good deliveries, Shubman didn’t look like himself in the game.
“Both the batters (Rohit and Virat) could’ve used their feet a bit better. Rohit Sharma had a big gap between his bat and pad. Shreyas Iyer was a bit unlucky. That was a cracking hook shot but it went straight to the fielder. If the fielder could’ve been 5 meters left or right, it would’ve been a boundary. Shubman Gill, for some strange reason, looked very subdued. Didn’t look as if he was playing his natural game, seemed to be in some of uncertainty around him. That’s why he didn’t open his account for a long time and hardly looked the Shubman Gill that we know,” Gavaskar said on India Today.
Gavaskar praised Ishan and Hardik for the way in which they handled the pressure in tense situation.
“Yes, I think what he showed was that an opening batter can bat anywhere down the order. It’s not easy the other way around, where a middle-order batter can come in and open the batting. It’s not easy, but an opening batter can be accommodated anywhere down the order, and he brings a left-handed dimension to the Indian batting line. If you could look at the top four, they’re all right and then the left-hander comes in, so it makes it a little bit difficult for the bowlers.
“Plus, he’s got this great ability to accelerate. He looks very, very small, but he packs a punch. He hit a couple of big sixes and the way he batted really was impressive because generally he likes to get after the bowling. But he was watchful when it was needed, recognized, realised what the situation was,” Gavaskar said.