WTC Final: Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara Fail in the Art of Leaving

Posted By: Shweta Khandal

Posted On: June 9, 2023


In the highly anticipated World Test Championship (WTC) Final between India and New Zealand, two of India’s top batsmen, Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara, struggled with a crucial aspect of batting – the art of leaving the ball. This fundamental skill, which requires disciplined judgment and precise footwork, was found lacking in their performances during the match. In this article, we delve into the importance of the art of leaving, analyze the struggles of Gill and Pujara, and discuss its impact on the team’s performance.

The Art of Leaving in Cricket

The art of leaving the ball is a crucial skill for a batsman in cricket, especially in the longer format of the game. It refers to the ability to judge whether to play a delivery or let it go based on its line, length, and trajectory. Leaving the ball successfully allows the batsman to avoid unnecessary risks, preserve energy, and frustrate the bowlers by forcing them to bowl in areas that favor the batsman’s strengths.

Importance of Disciplined Judgment

Disciplined judgment is the cornerstone of the art of leaving. It involves assessing the line and length of the delivery early and making a quick decision whether to play or leave the ball. This judgment is honed through experience, practice, and a deep understanding of one’s off-stump and the pitch conditions. A batsman with good judgment can differentiate between deliveries that pose a threat and those that can be safely left alone.

Precise Footwork and Body Positioning

Precise footwork and body positioning play a crucial role in executing the art of leaving effectively. The batsman needs to move their feet swiftly into the optimal position, aligning themselves with the line of the delivery. This allows them to get into a balanced position, enabling a smooth and controlled movement to either play or leave the ball. Any hesitation or misjudgment in footwork can lead to mistimed shots or edging the ball to the fielders.

Shubman Gill’s Struggles

Shubman Gill, a promising young talent, faced challenges in leaving the ball during the WTC Final. Known for his elegant strokeplay, Gill seemed to be lured into playing at deliveries outside his off-stump, which he should have ideally left alone. This lack of discipline in judgment and footwork resulted in him edging the ball to the slip cordon on multiple occasions. Gill’s struggles with the art of leaving led to his early dismissals, putting additional pressure on the Indian batting lineup.

Cheteshwar Pujara’s Lack of Conviction

Cheteshwar Pujara, renowned for his solid defense and temperament, also encountered difficulties with leaving the ball in the WTC Final. Pujara is known for his ability to absorb pressure and occupy the crease for long periods. However, in this match, he appeared indecisive in judging the line of the deliveries and failed to leave many deliveries that were just outside his off-stump. As a result, he often ended up playing at balls he should have left, leading to his dismissals at crucial junctures.

Impact on Team India

The struggles of Gill and Pujara in the art of leaving had a significant impact on Team India’s performance in the WTC Final. Their dismissals at crucial stages of the match not only deprived the team of established batsmen but also allowed the New Zealand bowlers to gain an upper hand. The pressure created by these early wickets put the middle order under immense scrutiny and exposed them to the disciplined and skillful New Zealand bowling attack.

Last Words

The art of leaving the ball is a fundamental skill that every batsman needs to master, especially in a high-stakes match like the WTC Final. Shubman Gill and Cheteshwar Pujara’s struggles with this aspect of their batting technique proved costly for Team India. To succeed in challenging conditions, batsmen must develop disciplined judgment, precise footwork, and strong decision-making skills when it comes to leaving the ball. Only then can they avoid unnecessary risks, build solid innings, and contribute significantly to their team’s success.

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