The new entrant in the Indian National Cricket Team, Shubman Gill looks in fine touch in the nets ahead of the opening ODI against New Zealand on January 23 (Wednesday) at Napier. Meanwhile, the men in blues will clash against the Kiwis in a five-match ODI series followed by three T20Is.

Gill came into the side in place of suspended KL Rahul, who had to return to the country. BCCI suspended Rahul and Hardik Pandya in the wake of their controversial remarks on a talk show. However, they are awaiting an enquiry as BCCI is yet to decide the quantum of punishment for the duo.

The 19-year-old Gill first rose to prominence with his Player of the Tournament performance in the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup 2018, also held in New Zealand, where he played a key role in India’s title-winning run. He rapidly rose through the ranks since then and is now on the cusp of an India cap in just over a year since his first-class debut in November 2017. Doing well in the recent New Zealand tour of India A, it was an easy job for the selectors to consider him for the senior side.

Shubman Gill, Yuvraj Singh
Getty Images

Shubman Gill has been in prime form with the bat as well, having notched up scores of 91, 69*, 148 and 268 in his last five first-class games and averages 77.28 in nine matches. His List A average of 47.78 from 36 games is also eye-catching, and his strike-rate of 86.18 in 50-over cricket and 146.04 in T20 proves that he is a quick scorer.

While his selection in the playing XI for the first ODI is not yet decided, Gill looked ready for the challenge. He was comfortable batting both in the front foot and the back foot and was timing the ball beautifully. It will be a great opportunity for the young Punjab lad if he gets a game in the land of Kiwis.

Watch the video here:

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