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'Neither does anyone make such demand, nor anyone given that luxury': Aakash Chopra on Shubman's 'unusual' no.3 request

Aakash Chopra said upon Shubman's request to bat at no.3, I tweeted in 2020 that he would play long for India but in a few years time, you would see him batting in the middle. Now, he has himself expressed that wish.

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By Crickified Mohit
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Shubman Gill request to bat at position 3

Team India's opening batsman Shubman Gill, made an unusual request to the team management to shift him to the no.3 batting position. The move has raised eyebrows in the cricketing world, as players in Indian cricket rarely make such demands. However, former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that change in the batting order in Indian cricket, might benefit the side.

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Shubman's Request for number 3

Shubman Gill has been a consistent performer for India in the opening role, but he has also played at no.3 in domestic cricket. His request to bat at no.3 came after Cheteshwar Pujara was dropped from the side following a poor outing in the World Test Championship final against Australia last month.

Former India opener Aakash Chopra believes that Shubman's request is unusual, but he thinks it could be a good move for the team.

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"It's a very interesting thing, because you don't usually hear such things happening in Indian cricket. You don't see a player telling team management that he likes to bat in a particular position. Neither does anyone make that request, nor anyone is given that luxury. But the good thing is Yashasvi Jaiswal can now open," said Chopra on his official YouTube channel.

 

A Good Move

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Chopra believes that the move will benefit, as it allows Yashasvi Jaiswal to open the innings with Rohit Sharma.

"In Test cricket, if there's one difficult job, it's that of an opener. Especially away from home. No.3 is still a challenging spot, but no.4 is the most settled spot and you usually keep your best batter in that spot. You don't want him to bat with the tail. Shubman at no.3, I'm not surprised. I tweeted in 2020 that he would play long for India but in a few years time, you would see him batting in the middle. Now, he has himself expressed that wish," he said.

 

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The Challenges of Opening Batting

An opener's job is considered the most difficult in the batting order, especially in Test cricket. The opener has to face the new ball and the opposition's best bowlers, who are fresh and ready to attack. Opening in foreign conditions can be even more challenging, as the conditions are unfamiliar, and the ball can move more than expected.

 

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Shubman Gill's Performance in the Opening Role

Shubman Gill has played the role of opener to significant success for India. He made his debut in the Boxing Day Test against Australia in Melbourne in 2020 and scored 45 and 35* in the two innings. He then scored a match-winning 91* in the fourth innings of the Gabba Test, which helped India chase down a target of 328 and win the series 2-1.

In his short Test career, Shubman has scored 378 runs in 8 innings at an average of 54.00, including a century and two fifties. He has shown the temperament and technique to succeed at the highest level, but he faces a new challenge in batting at no.3.

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The Role of No.3 Batsman

The no.3 position in the batting order is a crucial one, as the player at this spot has to stabilize the innings if an early wicket falls. The no.3 batsman has to be technically sound and have the ability to play long innings. The no.3 position is often occupied by a defensive batsman who can see off the new ball and lay a solid foundation for the middle-order batsmen to build on.

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Cheteshwar Pujara's Role at No.3

Cheteshwar Pujara has been India's mainstay at no.3 for the past few years. He is known for his resolute defence and his ability to bat for long periods of time. Pujara played a crucial role in India's historic series win against Australia in 2018-19, where he faced 1258 balls in the series and scored three centuries. However, his form has dipped in recent times, and he was dropped from the side after a poor outing in the World Test Championship final against Australia.

 

The Rise of Yashasvi Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal, the 20-year-old left-handed opener, made his Test debut for India against West Indies in the first Test in Dominica. Jaiswal replaced Shubman Gill in the opening role, while Gill moved to no.3. Jaiswal had a dream debut, scoring an unbeaten 40 in the first innings and helping India take a lead of 102 runs.

Jaiswal is a highly-rated talent in Indian cricket, having scored runs consistently in domestic cricket. He was the top run-scorer in the 2020 U-19 World Cup, where he scored 400 runs in six innings at an average of 133.33. Jaiswal has a solid technique and the ability to play both pace and spin with ease.

 

The Way Forward

Shubman Gill's request to bat at no.3 has created a new dynamic in the Indian batting order. It allows Yashasvi Jaiswal to open the innings and gives him a chance to prove himself at the highest level. However, the move also puts pressure on Shubman Gill to perform in a new role. If he can adjust to the demands of batting at no.3, he could become a valuable asset for India in the long run.

 

Conclusion

Shubman Gill's request to bat at no.3 is an unusual one, but it could be a good move by the team management to strengthen the Indian batting order. The move allows Yashasvi Jaiswal to open the innings and gives him a chance to prove himself, while also putting pressure on Shubman Gill to perform in a new role. The success of this move will depend on how well Shubman Gill adapts to the new role and how Yashasvi Jaiswal performs in the opening role.

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