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Shubman Gill: Overrated or Underrated?

Shubman Gill, the name ignites passionate debates amongst cricket fans. Is he the heir apparent to the Indian batting throne, or a player propped up by fleeting brilliance?

At 24, his career trajectory boasts impressive highs but also concerning lows, leaving the question of his true potential unanswered. 

Shubman’s Glimpses of his brilliance were evident early on, leading the Indian U-19 team to a World Cup victory in 2018, earning the Player of the Tournament award. Gill's elegant right-handed batting, adorned with technical prowess and audacious strokeplay, has captivated audiences.

He holds the record for the youngest cricketer to score a double century in ODIs and the highest T20I score for India. His ability to adapt across formats, be it anchoring the innings or going after the bowlers, makes him a valuable asset.

His leadership qualities were recognised when he was appointed captain of the Gujarat Titans in the IPL, showcasing his well-rounded cricketing acumen.

However, the year 2023 and the beginning of 2024 have not been too positive for Shubman Gill. The struggles began post-IPL. In Tests, his move to No. 3 wasn't smooth, with scores lacking substance. He averaged a paltry 19.33 in the West Indies and failed to convert starts in South Africa.

ODIs haven't been much kinder, with meager returns and an inability to build big scores. T20Is showcase a slight revival, but questions remain about converting his lone big knock into consistent performances.

Experts point to various factors: difficulty adapting to the No. 3 role, inconsistent temperament, and struggling against swing bowling. The pressure of expectations might also play a part. While age is on his side, Gill needs to find solutions quickly.

The critics have already started the discussion about Shubman Gill being overrated or underrated. Before things go out of hand, Shubman Gill needs to answer his critics with his bat.

Shubman Gill – The Case for Overrated

  • Limited Success Overseas: Critics point to his struggles in foreign conditions. His Test average in England (14.66) and South Africa (28.00) raises concerns about his adaptability. This “home-ground bully” tag fuels doubts about his ability to thrive in diverse cricketing environments.
  • World Cup Downturn: While scoring 354 runs in the 2023 World Cup isn't a disaster, it fell short of expectations after his dominant ODI form. Dengue affecting his fitness may have played a role, but some argue it exposed potential limitations under pressure.
  • Inconsistent Test Performances: Although Gill has shown glimpses of brilliance in Tests, his overall average of 34.50 across 19 matches suggests inconsistency. Critics argue he needs to convert promising starts into match-winning scores more regularly.
  • Technical Flaws: Some experts identify technical chinks in his armour, like susceptibility to the swinging ball and occasional lapses in shot selection. They argue he needs to iron out these issues to truly excel at the highest level.

Shubman Gill – The Case for Underrated

  • Exceptional Domestic Record: Gill's domestic dominance is undeniable. He averages over 50 in both First-Class and List-A cricket, showcasing his talent and ability to handle Indian conditions. This bodes well for his future potential.
  • Young & Evolving: At 23, Gill is still in his formative years. Critics argue judging him harshly based on current limitations is unfair. His talent and hunger to learn suggest significant room for improvement and adaptation.
  • Dominant 2023 Season: His 2023 was stellar. He won the IPL Orange Cap and amassed 1000+ ODI runs at an average of 72.35. This highlights his ability to dominate against quality opposition on familiar turf.
  • Mental Fortitude: He has shown mental strength despite setbacks. Battling dengue during the World Cup and facing criticism with maturity point towards a resilient mindset crucial for long-term success.
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