The brief county stint with Glamorgan proved to be a blessing for Shubman Gill. Before he signed with the Welsh side in August last year, Gill was one of the fringe players even though he had a great IPL and a couple of good ODI series against West Indies and Zimbabwe with a second-string Indian side.
Since returning from his county stint, however, Gill has not looked back. He has scored two centuries in Tests and three in ODIs, including a double ton, and a T20I hundred. At present, he is probably the only all-format Indian batsman.
Glamorgan coach Matthew Maynard lauded Gill, saying the youngster will follow in the footsteps of former Indian greats.
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“When I look at Shubman, I think he has a world at his feet. He is obviously a hugely talented individual. His technique is pure; it is wonderful. An excellent basic technique where the bat-pad is balanced. His weight transfer against seamers is so good that it looks like he was born with a bat in his hand. He is a beautiful batsman to watch,” Maynard told The Indian Express ahead of the Border-Gavaskar series.
He added: “His composure doesn’t seem to get ruffled; nothing seems to bother him. I believe he is going to be an Indian great, following in the footsteps of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and Virat Kohli.”
Before the Bangladesh series, there were talks that the Indian think tank might play Gill at No 5 in Tests and once Kohli retires, he will take over the elusive No 4 spot. Maynard, who has played four Tests and 14 ODIs for England, feels Gill doesn’t need any protection.
“Shubman can bat anywhere, and it is up to the head coach and his coaching staff. India needs to do what they think is best for the national side in Test match cricket. But I don’t think he needs protection. He is a very good batsman, and once he gets over that new ball, he is someone who can set the tone for the team,” said Maynard.
“From the technical aspect, sometimes, maybe he just crosses that front leg a little bit, but his timing is so pure that he manages to get away with it. He has got the capability of handling the swing and seam. Rahul (Dravid) used to do that in England. Sometimes it makes the batsman unbalanced, but Rahul did it wonderfully, and Shubman is exactly the same.”
Gill played only four innings (three matches) for Glamorgan but came back a different cricketer. In his Glamorgan whites, he scored a century, one 90-plus score and in four innings, accumulated 244 runs at an average of 61.00.
Over the years, some prominent Indian batsmen have played county cricket and Maynard said Gill reminds him of Tendulkar and Dravid but not the exact copy.
“I do see elements of other batsmen but not like a copy. He reminds you of Dravid because he is tall, and when he plays that clip shot, you will be like oh there is a bit of Dravid in that. When he plays that cover drive, there’s a bit of Sachin in it as well,” he said, “He is tall, he is elegant, he just looked so graceful. Imagine how gracefully he would look if he is a left-handed batsman. He doesn’t appear to hit the ball, It is pure timing. He does hit the ball hard but from the outside, it doesn’t look like it. He looks effortless,” he added.
The 23-year-old is one of the few batsmen who has scored runs in all three formats with the same style, and Maynard feels “there’s nothing wrong about it.”
“There is a beautiful saying in life ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.’ He won IPL with Gujarat Titans. His technique will allow him to play all formats,” said the 56-year-old.