Former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris believes young right-handed batter Shubman Gill may have to bide his time for some period before becoming the first-choice opener. He added that if Gill isn’t slotted in as the opener in India’s ODI side, number three could be a potential spot for him.
After making a comeback to the ODI fold in almost two years, Gill has been impressive in India’s 50-overs series against the West Indies and more recently Zimbabwe, making 450 runs while averaging 112.50 and at a strike-rate of 111.66.
Apart from three half-centuries, including an unbeaten 98 in Port of Spain, Gill dazzled by signing off from Zimbabwe with his first ODI ton, a brilliant 130, to get India back-to-back 3-0 series triumph. In series against West Indies and Zimbabwe, Gill took Player of the Series awards too.
With an ODI series coming up against South Africa at home in October, Gill has got a chance to strengthen his case to be included in India’s squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup on home soil next year.
“How much of a future do you think Shubman Gill’s got? I’m with Saba. I think he’s got a huge future in front of him for this Indian side. So yes, that’s the answer. He’s putting pressure on Shikhar Dhawan. Does he go over the top of them? I still think they love that left-handed option.
“There aren’t too many top-order left-handers who are taking the game by the scruff of the neck in Indian cricket as an opener and therefore Shikhar Dhawan has that going in his favour so maybe Shubman Gill has to bide his time a little bit or as we saw number 3 might be a spot for him,” said Styris on ‘Sports Over The Top’ show on Sports18.
Adding further into Styris’ praise for Gill, Saba Karim, the former India cricketer and ex-member of the senior selection committee, feels that the Mohali-based youngster is on top of the pecking order in the emerging players from India.
“Yeah, this is the new breed of Indian cricketers who have been so impressive and most of them, or at least 2-3 of them you can pick out from there can become all-format players for India. And Shubman Gill is right up in the pecking order.
“We talked about Rishabh Pant, we can talk about Shubman Gill now. So, there are so many youngsters who are coming up to order, but also it means that due to this tough competition that we see now in the Indian side, anybody who gets an opportunity wants to score big, wants to make an impact.”
With Gill in fine touch with the bat, India have a problem of plenty whenever the 50-overs side plays at full strength. Captain Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have been formidable right-left opening pair in ODI for so long apart from KL Rahul chipping in between to open the batting as well.