After not being picked for the first Test match of the series, Shubman Gill sparked a lot of ripples in the Indian cricketing community.
After validating his class for two consecutive IPL’s, he finally managed to grab a call for the Indian team and his hallowed arrival to stardom arrived in the most glorious ways as India chronicled a remarkable victory against Australia in the second Test at Melbourne.
Despite the game being a stoush of good bowlers throughout, those imperative cameos at the top of the innings, constituted an emphatic part of the same. In the first innings of the second Test, India was jolted to a rude awakening, when Mayank Agarwal was shown the door by Mitchell Starc. However, Gill and Pujara started taking over the reins and steered India to a respectable score before Pat Cummins got the better of him.
In the second innings, India only had 70 to chase but an infamous déjà vu of being skittled out for 36 in the first Test smote India hard as they lost two early wickets. Mayank Agarwal was once again victimized by Starc’s carnage as the Australian fast bowler exploited the former’s corridor of uncertainty to make him embark on the long walk.
The fear of once again falling short started rising higher, suppressing other contemplations when Pujara was barely able to move as Cummins’ toe-crusher caught the bottom-edge of Pujara and flew in the safe arms of Cameron Green.
India was stuttering at 19 for 2 with 51 runs still to achieve and the commentators hollering at the top of their lungs that anything can be in store for them, underlining India’s cursed downfall in the first game.
This is exactly where Shubman gill and the captain, Ajinkya Rahane took control of the steering and helped India glide past the needed-total with consummate ease.
The way Gill pulled Hazlewood, swiveling his body like a pivot was definitely a reminder of Rahul Dravid hammering Brett Lee for an exhilarating boundary after being struck on the helmet.
Gill’s flick with the help of wrists against Marnus Labuschange was once again a rekindling memory of how Virat Kohli uses those wrists to disperse the spinners to the rope.
It was Rahane and Gill who helped India to cross the finishing line, with the Indian skipper striking the telling blow against Nathan Lyon.
With all the brilliance from Shubman Gill up for grabs, the Indian audience started drawing contrasts between the Indian opener and other greats of the game, as it has always been.
Former Indian Test opener, who has been a part of the Australian tour before, Wasim Jaffer, chipped in with his valuable opinion as he quoted, “Shubman is special but please let him enjoy his cricket and grow into his career. Don’t compare him to anyone and put undue pressure on him. He’s not the next somebody he’s first Shubman Gill. We’ve lost many great talents due to undue pressure and unreal expectations.”
Shubman is special but please let him enjoy his cricket and grow into his career. Don't compare him to anyone and put undue pressure on him. He's not next somebody he's first Shubman Gill. We've lost many great talents due to undue pressure and unreal expectations. #Shubmangill
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) December 29, 2020
It has always been a ritual for Indians to draw comparisons between other greats of the game and budding sensations who are on the rise. One of the most notable victims of such comparisons was Irfan Pathan. Despite being a part of the Indian cricket team for quite a notable amount of time, after seeing him swinging the ball that claimed the valuable scalp of Adam Gilchrist as his maiden Test wicket, the Indian audience was all voices about the fact that Pathan can be India’s, Wasim Akram.
Unable to cope with the pressure and expectations, he was torn between rifts whether he will be excelling with the ball in his hand or whether he will be enhancing himself with the bat. Greg Chappell made it worse for Pathan. That is exactly why Jaffer served as an alarming reminder to the fact that Gill should not be another victim of such unfair comparisons.