Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has raised questions on the adamant batting approach of Team India in the recently concluded World Test Championship (WTC) final. No member from the Indian batting unit managed to score a half-century as New Zealand seamers completely dominated them with high-class fast bowling.
Manjrekar, who often speaks straight from the shoulder, expressed his views on the Virat Kohli-led side for their 8-wicket defeat against Black Caps in the summit clash. Manjrekar pointed out that few batsmen need to correct their footwork.
In a chat with ESPNcricinfo, the cricketer-turned-commentator gave his expert analysis and started by talking about Shubman Gill’s batting technique. He said that Gill’s foot movement is “always on the front foot”, and that’s why the opener gets into trouble against the inswingers.
“He (Gill) will have to work on his footwork. It is something that is very obvious for everyone to see. He is getting out to the ball that is leaving and the ball that’s coming back in. It’s a problem, and like I mentioned in the first innings, it’s always the front foot,” said Manjrekar.
Manjrekar opined that such a batting approach is mostly seen on surfaces like Adelaide, where batters often use the front foot to deal with the bowling challenges.
“It’s the kind of footwork that you see from batters when you are playing in, say Australia on a pitch like Adelaide where the ball really starts shooting along the ground, keeps really low with the cracks and then all batters come with the pre-conceived notion that, come what may, you are going to get on to the front foot,” the Mumbaikar added.
The 55-year-old asserted that even high-class batsmen like Virat and Cheteshwar Pujara followed the same method, which he isn’t sure is the right way to go while playing in English conditions.
“So, then, it is understandable for all batters to come with this sort of a dogmatic approach, to get onto the front foot. But you see with (Cheteshwar) Pujara; you’re seeing that with Gill…Virat Kohli plays that as well; you know that’s his basic game. I’m a little skeptical whether that is the right way to go about…to be on the front foot all the time,” Manjrekar added further.