Team India head coach Rahul Dravid has asserted that there was no pressure on Shubman Gill internally despite his lack of big scores heading into the Visakhapatnam Test. He, however, admitted that the youngster did feel the heat, given the high expectations of him.

Dravid’s comments come amid reports that the batter was given an ultimatum to perform or face the axe heading into the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam. The 24-year-old had failed to register a single half-century in South Africa and was dismissed cheaply in both innings as India lost the first Test in Hyderabad by 28 runs.

Under fire over his place in the Test team, Gill scored a defining 104 in the second innings to repay the faith of the selectors and the team management.

Asked for his assessment of the batter’s effort, Dravid said:

“He came into this Test match under pressure externally. Internally, we have had a lot of confidence in Shubman and we know his class and his ability. We’ve seen how good a player he’s been. Even in this lean run, he’s actually the one who has got us a hundred in Chittagong, a hundred in Ahmedabad.

“From a young player of whom a lot is expected, obviously he did feel the pressure. Really happy with the way he played that innings. It was terrific – the control, the fight. It required him to soak in a lot of pressure at various times,” the 51-year-old added.

Dravid also opined that Gill would be disappointed that he did not carry on to convert his hundred into a big one.

“I am sure he will be a bit disappointed. He would have liked to have carried on and made a much bigger century,” the Indian legend commented.

Gill was dismissed for 104 off 147 balls, a knock that featured 11 fours and two sixes. He attempted a reverse sweep off Shoaib Bashir but ended up gloving a simple catch to the keeper.

“He’s also learning along the way” – Dravid on Shubman Gill’s inconsistency

While Gill has been excellent in the one-day format, his consistency in red-ball cricket has been hugely disappointing.

Dravid, however, threw his weight behind the 24-year-old and praised his commitment and attitude.

“He ticks every single box for us as someone who is desperate to succeed in all three formats of the game. He’s got the skill and he’s a young man. He’s also learning along the way. He’s going to have some blips, some good periods in his career. We are going to have to ride with it at times, knowing that we’ve got someone who is trying his absolute best to become a very good player in all the three formats,” Dravid concluded.

In 22 Tests, Gill has scored 1,201 runs at an average of 31.60, with three hundreds and four fifties.

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