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Will Shubman Gill Be India Cricket Team's Permanent Starter In The Future
Even though India Cricket Team have a clear identity in terms of their starting line-up, there could be a few players who can make a case for their inclusion. One of them is Shubman Gill.
Although the stylish right-handed batsman wasn't included in the Asia Cup squad, he could make a strong case for his place in the T20 ICC World squad. The BCCI will announce the squad for the T20 ICC World on September 16.
Though India captain Rohit Sharma can only select a specified group of players for a tournament let alone a match, he understands the fact that there is competition at every position in the team.
Having competition and strength in depth across multiple positions isn't always an ideal situation for any skipper.
Sometimes, he has to make a tough decision and exclude some of the players, which may leave a bad taste for both the excluded player and the captain.
However, if Shubman Gill continues to perform the way he has been performing for Gujarat Titans and the Indian cricket team, he can be heavily involved in the international team in the future.
Shubman Gill's Early Domestic Career
As a right-handed batsman from Punjab, Gill was known for scoring big runs. In 2014, the Fazilka native announced himself to junior cricket by smashing 351 in Punjab's Inter-District Under-16 tournament.
On his U16 debut for Punjab, he created more headlines by scoring an unbeaten double-hundred in the Vijay Merchant Trophy.
By 2015, Shubman Gill had firmly established himself as one of the best up-and-coming players in the game after he won the BCCI award for the best junior cricketer for two consecutive seasons.
He shared the stage with his idol and all-time great Virat Kohli while receiving this award.
This was just the start of a promising young career as Shubman Gill made his List A debut in the 2016–17 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Before getting drafted into the U19 World Cup side as a vice-captain, Gill made his debut for Punjab in the 2017/18 Ranji trophy.
The right-handed batsman showed his credentials right from the off with a blistering half-century in his debut game followed by his maiden century against Services.
He scored 129 against the Bengal team, which was the first of the seven hundred that he would make in first-class cricket.
Based on his performances in first-class cricket, he was a regular starter for Rahul Dravid's U19 World Cup team. In the U19 side, he smashed 351 runs in four innings of the home youth series against England.
On the back of consecutive match-winning knocks, Shubman Gill bagged the man-of-the-series award as well.
Indian Cricket Team Builds Momentum In IPL
In 2018, Shubman Gill was picked by two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders. In his IPL career so far, he has spent three seasons at Kolkata before moving to Gujarat Titans earlier this year.
Just like his domestic career, Gill's IPL stats have only gone up.
Last season, Shubman Gill scored 483 runs across 16 innings, which is the highest number of runs he has scored in a single IPL season. He also had an average of 34.50, which is the highest of his career.
The right-handed batsman has scored 14 IPL half-centuries, 10 of which have come for Kolkata, and 4 came for Gujarat. He also achieved his best personal score of 96 in the recent season, which he scored against Punjab Kings.
Emergence In The Indian Cricket Team
Many people suggest that Dravid had seen Gill's talent in his earlier days, which is one of the reasons why the Gujarat Titans batsman has emerged in the Indian national team.
Regardless of what they think, Shubman Gill is repaying the trust that was given to him by “The Wall”. In 2019, the former Kolkata Knight Riders man was selected in India's squad against New Zealand.
On January 31, 2019, Shubman Gill made his ODI debut in the fourth ODI against the Kiwis. In December 2020, Gill made his Test debut against Australia and was pivotal in winning the series for India.
In the second test, he helped India in a comeback win before scoring a crucial 91 in the fourth Test to win the series for the Blues.
In 2022, he was selected for the tour to Zimbabwe. Considering the gap in quality between both sides, Gill had the chance to impress the selectors and present himself as a candidate for the upcoming T20 ICC World T20 as well as next year's World Cup.
In the first ODI against Zimbabwe, the 22-year-old scored an unbeaten 82. He played in the no.3 role in the second ODI and scored 33. In the third and last ODI, Gill's finest moment so far in the Indian jersey came when he scored his first ODI century.
The right-handed batsman scored an unbeaten 130, which helped him move ahead of Sachin Tendulkar as the Indian batsman with the highest individual score in Zimbabwe. The legendary cricketer made an unbeaten 127 in 1998.
“Finally!!! Well played Shubman Gill u seriously deserved that Ton! Congratulations on your first, many more to come this is just a start #indiavszim,” former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh tweeted.
In his last six ODI innings, Shubman Gill has scores of 64, 43, 98*, 82*, 33, and 130 respectively. He was one of the two batsmen to score a ton in the recent Zimbabwe series alongside Sikandar Raza.
Shubman Gill's century drew appreciation not just from the Indian camp but also from the Zimbabwe camp. Zimbabwe's all-rounder Brad Evans said that he was a huge fan of Gill since his early IPL days.
“I am a big fan of Shubman Gill. I watched him in the IPL, Australia test series and it was so kind of him to give his jersey to me,” Evans said in his press conference after the third ODI.
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