Shubman Gill’s brilliant double hundred against New Zealand has ended the debate about who will open the innings with skipper Rohit Sharma in One-Day Internationals, said Aakash Chopra as many former India cricketers lavished praise on the opener.
Gill has become the youngest player to score a double century in ODIs in the first match of the three-match series against New Zealand at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Wednesday.
The fifth Indian player to get a double century in ODIs, Gill was a dominating force in the hosts’ innings. Be it in the first power-play or the death overs, he was smashing boundaries against pacers and spinners in a pristine show of batsmanship.
But more than the double hundred, it was his success as an opener that impressed many as India had been looking for a partner for Rohit Sharma.
Aakash Chopra said Gill’s knock in the first ODI has settled the debate about the opening slot in ODIs in a year in which India will be hosting the 50-overs World Cup in October-November.
“He (Gill) has put that debate to rest about who should open. There were some discussions after Ishan Kishan’s double century and there were some discussions about Shikhar Dhawan before that. It was even felt at times whether KL Rahul was batting at the right number but it is quite apparent now that Shubman Gill. should open,” said Chopra while reviewing this game in a video on his YouTube channel.
Though wicketkeeper Ishan Kishan has also scored a double hundred recently, Chopra feels the Punjab batter is destined to bat at the top of the order.
“He is meant to play ODI cricket right at the top. India has got two double centurions in the last one-and-a-half to two months. Ishan Kishan had struck a double century against Bangladesh and here Shubman Gill has struck it against New Zealand. He has done an amazing job, how well the kid bats,” Chopra added.
Besides becoming the fifth Indian to score a double hundred, Gill has also become the fastest Indian to reach 1000 runs in ODIs. He has now scored 1102 runs at an outstanding average of 68.87 and an impressive strike rate of 109.00 in 19 ODIs. He has an even better record as an opener, having smashed 923 runs at an average of 76.91 and a strike rate of 108.84 in 15 innings.