With Shubman Gill bearing the brunt of Yashasvi Jaiswal’s incorrect DRS ruling, Rahul Dravid fails to contain his anger

When Shubman Gill was sent out for life in the third Twenty20 International match against South Africa, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid’s face said it all. He chose not to request a review.

When Shubman Gill was declared leg before wicket in the third Twenty20 International against South Africa, head coach Rahul Dravid’s body language did not make the best impression. While on eight off six balls, Gill attempted to sweep Keshav Maharaj but was unsuccessful and struck the pads instead. It looked plumb in real-time. Gill approached Yashasvi Jaiswal, his partner, and decided not to accept a review after a quick conversation. But as it happened, he ought to have. The ball tracker indicated that the ball would have missed the leg stump even though the ball pitched in line with the stumps and hit them exactly. Unexpectedly, Jaiswal did not appear to be persuaded sufficiently, so when the replay aired on the big screen, Dravid was unable to contain his annoyance. The India coach was observed sighing deeply and mumbling something while seated next to Vikram Rathour.

This concludes Gill’s pretty unimpressive 2023 campaign. In 13 innings during his T20I career, the Indian hitter has eight single-digit scores. Although his ODI scores are impressive, his short-form returns have been far from adequate. With the exception of a century against New Zealand in February and a fifty against the West Indies in the previous year, Gill has never reached the fifty marks. Fans are enraged by Gill’s unwavering support, which helped him hold onto his spot in the XI despite an excellent Ruturaj Gaikwad, who just scored a century against Australia in the third Twenty20 International last week. As a result, they started the #SackDravid trend on X.

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There are just three T20Is left before the T20 World Cup, so Gill’s time may be running out. The IPL 2024, which is slated to begin at the end of March, is another option. Gill dominated the rankings with 890 runs in the previous season and took home the Orange Cap. Besides, who knows? He might perform at his peak now that he is captain of the Gujarat Titans, perhaps reproducing the success of the 2023 IPL.

Now that he has an amazing record in the ODIs, Gill will shift his attention there. However, since his October dengue episode, runs have dried up, even in the format he prefers. Gill has amassed four half-centuries in the World Cup alone since his return, although his ability to play lengthy innings has somewhat lessened. In his four ODIs against South Africa, Gill has amassed 103 runs, including a career-high 49.

Going back to the game on Thursday, Jaiswal rectified his mistake by hitting a brilliant 60 off 41 balls, including three sixes and six fours. Fortunately, India’s remarkable 106-run victory over South Africa in the series finale, which finished the series at 1-1, meant that Gill’s failure could be ignored. Following the brilliant century from Suryakumar Yadav, the fourth of his T20I career and a record-breaking one, India reached 201/7. Then, birthday boy Kuldeep Yadav worked his magic with his left-arm wrist spin. Kuldeep concluded with a 5/17 score, barely beating the Proteas with a meagre 95. Ultimately, how many athletes have delivered their best-ever performances on their birthdays? Certainly not too many.