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 Three reasons why the third Twenty20 international between India and Sri Lanka is so important for Shubman Gill

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Shubman Gill will be under pressure when India plays Sri Lanka in the third T20I on January 7 in Rajkot. Both teams have everything to play for in the conclusion of their 1-1 series.

Gill, 23, made his T20I debut against Sri Lanka. Right-handed batter went out for 7 off 5 balls in his debut game. Team India won by two runs at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium.
Gill was kept for the second match against Sri Lanka at Pune. Kasun Rajitha dismissed him for a duck in India’s 16-run loss.

We analyse at three reasons why Gill’s final T20I vs Sri Lanka in Rajkot will be vital.

#1 Gill’s shot selection is scrutinised
In international cricket, a few failures aren’t a huge issue. But Gill’s shot selection has been criticised.

Maheesh Theekshana beat him in his debut T20I. Right-handed hitter underestimated Lankan spinner’s skidder. He pulled, but it was too long. Gill was hit in the thigh and stuck between the stumps. He even wasted India’s review.

In Pune, he played much worse. India lost Ishan Kishan cheaply chasing 207. Gill stabilised the game. In the same over, he chipped Rajitha’s delivery to mid-on. The hitter again chose the wrong delivery for a pull. He checked his stroke too late.
Gill has also been guilty of soft dismissals. He’s talented, but his disposition needs improvement.

#2 His inconsistency is annoying
Gill’s consistency is frustrating, especially given his talent. The Punjab and Gujarat Titans (GT) batsman has played 13 Tests, 15 ODIs, and two T20Is for India.

Gill averages 32 in Tests and has 104 fifties. In January 2021, the right-hander scored 91 at Gabba. In his following eight Tests, he scored two fifties, with a best of 52. Unconverted starts abound.

Gill’s first Test century came in Bangladesh. His other three innings scores were 20, 20, and 7. Even in ODIs, he scored well against West Indies and Zimbabwe but not against stronger teams.
23-year-old is new to international cricket. Without appearing harsh, the gifted batter lacks hunger for big scores.

#3 Ruturaj Gaikwad is waiting in the wings
Kishan has been picked over seasoned opener Shikhar Dhawan for the ODIs against Sri Lanka. Gill must also be wary of Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Gaikwad has struggled in his first nine T20Is, scoring 135 runs at 16.87 with one half-century. He’ll want another chance.

If Gill fails to make an impression in the third T20I, India may bring back Gaikwad for future T20Is.

The Maharashtra batsman won the Orange Cap in CSK’s IPL 2021 title-winning season.
Gaikwad hit three consecutive hundreds in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2022. Against Uttar Pradesh, he scored 220* off 159.

The 25-year-old Player of the Tournament scored 660 runs in five matches at a 220 average and 113.59 strike rate. He’ll jump at any chance.

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