James Anderson must be thinking…

Former India left-arm seamer Zaheer Khan, who is on commentary duty with Jio Cinema for England’s 5-match Test series tour of India, asked Shubman Gill to beware of James Anderson. Zaheer made this claim after Gill was taking down Anderson and the six he scored off the veteran by stepping out of the crease.

That shot and that innings from Shubman Gill intrigued Zaheer Khan to ask the right-hander to be ready for the challenge when India tours England for a Test series in the near future. After a good beating, it was Anderson who eventually led to Gill’s dismissal with a clean bowled through a trademark in-swinging delivery.

Watch: Shubman Gill’s six off Anderson

Before we get to what Zaheer Khan said, we must talk about the shot Shubman Gill played to dispatch James Anderson’s full-length delivery to six. Anderson bowled an on-slot delivery to Gill who stepped out of the crease in pre-anticipation and smacked the 6-metre pitched delivery over the former’s head.

It was an 85-metre six towards the side screen and since then the shot has generated plenty of reactions. England captain Ben Stokes was the first to express and his facial reaction said it all. Gill went on to score another 3 biggies in his centurion knock in front of his father who stood up and clapped for his son’s 4th ever Test century.

Shubman Gill played a key role with Rohit Sharma in handling India’s innings after Yashasvi Jaiswal’s departure on day 1 for 57. Gill and Rohit would then stitch together a partnership of 171 runs, taking India from 104 to 275 at the time of Rohit’s departure for 103 on the first ball after Lunch, bowled by Ben Stokes.

6 balls later, it was Anderson who scalped Gill’s wicket with an unplayable delivery. After that, Sarfaraz Khan and Devdutt Padikkal stabilized the situation with a 97-run partnership before Sarfaraz departed for 56 in the first ball after Tea.

Zaheer Khan praises Shubman Gill for displaying his natural game

Now getting back to what Zaheer Khan remarked on Shubman Gill, the former praised the latter for displaying his natural gameplay. Zack highlighted the change in Gill’s approach from the 1st Test where he was ultra-defensive and was inside a shell.

Zaheer also gave credit to head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Rohit Sharma for their constant backing of Gill.

“So good to see Gill playing his natural game. In the first Test, he batted with such a defensive mindset, almost went into a shell, but from there, the way he has grown in confidence is just tremendous. It’s a collective effort. What about the shot he played off James Anderson. It’s not an easy stroke to play. He was out of his crease when he lofted it,” Zaheer Khan said via Jio Cinema. 

While discussing the lofted straight drive six from Shubman Gill off Anderson, Zaheer Khan said that Gill’s execution was spot on. The former left-arm seamer also highlighted the double standards of media who would have discarded Gill’s effort had he got out while playing the same shot.

“Now remember, if he doesn’t get it right, he can come in for criticism for playing that stroke, but the fact that he executed it so well, just shown he trusts his instincts a lot more now. The conditions are slightly better for batting here. So Anderson must be thinking ‘hmm… come to England and I’ll show you,” Zaheer Khan concluded. 

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