Shubman Gill is one of the most highly-rated youngsters in world cricket right now. The 19-year old has been grabbing the eye-balls with his batting exploits for quite some time now. He shot to limelight in 2014. Back then he slammed 351 in Punjab’s Inter-District Under-16 tournament. On his Under-16 state debut for Punjab, he made an unbeaten double-century in the Vijay Merchant Trophy.
He enhanced his reputation by starring in the Under-19 World Cup last year, scoring 372 runs at an average of 124 and bagged the Man of the Tournament award. It helped him bag a lucrative IPL deal from Kolkata Knight Riders. The youngster totally justified the franchise’s faith scoring 203 runs including a match-winning fifty against eventual winners Chennai Super Kings.
He then made it to India A team and continued his impressive show with the bat. Gill recently had a stunning outing in the ongoing season of the Ranji Trophy. In just 5 games, he scored 729 runs at an average of over 104. He also averages an impressive 47.72 from 37 List A games. And Gill has now been rewarded for his consistent displays with a maiden call-up from the senior team.
The Punjab star along with Vijay Shankar has been named as replacement for suspended duo Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul. While Vijay is a part of the ODI team for the ongoing series in Australia, Gill will join the team in New Zealand for the ODI and the T20I series.
The recent turn of events, meanwhile, have made many speculate that the youngster might be in the selectors’ plan for the upcoming World Cup. However, MSK Prasad, chief of the selection panel, has refused to comment on Gill’s chances in the squad. The former India cricketer also revealed that he discussed with India A coach Rahul Dravid before choosing Gill.
“Shubman is comfortable both opening the innings as well as playing in the middle-order. For the New Zealand series, we are looking at him as the reserve opener behind Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma),” Prasad said.
“I won’t comment if he will make it to World Cup but he was phenomenal as an opener for India A in New Zealand,” added Prasad.
He further said:
“We have discussed with Rahul (Dravid, the A-team coach) that Shubman is ready for international cricket. The best part is the clutch of A tours which has made all these players battle ready for the biggest challenge. Look at Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal… they don’t look intimidated when thrown into the deep end of the pool.”