Well, the young Shubman Gill finally got the call-up to play in the Test format of the game. The flamboyant batsman was picked over KL Rahul in the senior team. Meanwhile, the chief selector MSK Prasad reveals that Shubman Gill will be the backup option for both opening slot and middle-order slot.
Shubman Gill has been in exceptional form for the India A’ team, posting scores of 90, 204, 62, 77, 69 and 40 in the lead up to series against South Africa. Gill had become the youngest Indian to score a first-class double century for an Indian representative side when he notched up an unbeaten 204 for the A’ team in the third unofficial Test against West Indies A.
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Shubman Gill will get his opportunities – MSK Prasad
Prasad explained that Rahul’s poor form forced the selectors to take the tough decision. However, he said Rahul is an ‘exceptional talent’ and stressed the door was not shut on him or other players. Regarding the same role, Prasad stated Gill can be a good back-up opener and has done well recently which worked in his favour.
Even though Mayank Agarwal is expected to retain his opener role, ICC World Cup 2019 top scorer Rohit Sharma is expected to partner him for the South Africa series. It means that Shubman Gill will be waiting for his maiden cap. However, this would be a great chance for him to rub shoulders with seniors in the team.
“With regards to Shubman Gill, we look at him as an opener as well as middle-order batsman. We are looking at him as back-up for both the slots. As he keeps playing more and more, he will get his opportunities, because he is a player for all three formats,” the chief selector added.
“With Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay gone, we can’t keep changing both the openers in the side. Someone had to stick around. And probably with seniors, who exiting, KL got more opportunities. Unfortunately, he was not delivering consistently. He delivered in patches and that’s why we backed him because when he is on song, he is a treat to watch.”
Gill, who made his ODI debut against New Zealand earlier this year, averages 72.15 from 14 first-class matches. Shubman Gill, who was surprisingly dropped for West Indies tour, will like to make the most of his maiden call-up to the Test squad if given a chance in the playing XI.