Former Indian national selector Jatin Paranjape reckoned that Shubman Gill could bat in the middle-order for team India in the upcoming Test series against New Zealand.
Gill had a great debut series against Australia in Down Under earlier this year, he slammed 259 runs from six innings at an average of 51.80 during that tour.
He missed the away Test series in England owing to a shin injury and that allowed KL Rahul to pair with Rohit Sharma in the opening slot.
Shubman Gill can replicate KL Rahul: Jatin Paranjape
Gill has returned to India’s Test squad for a two-match Test series against New Zealand. Not only Gill but also Karnataka batter Mayank Agarwal, who was also injured just before the England Test series, is back in the squad.
The conundrum for Indian selectors is whom should they open with the options of Gill, Rahul and Mayank available to them.
Paranjape is of the opinion that Gill can settle in the middle-order and excel as a batsman while citing the example of KL Rahul.
“I am always a believer that rigidity in team selection doesn’t help. I actually feel that playing Shubman as a middle-order batter will help the team. A certain amount of flexibility always helps,” Paranjape told news agency PTI.
“In fact, if you see, KL Rahul had batted in the middle-order and had some success early in his career. Shubman can replicate that,” he added.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane won’t be playing: Jatin Paranjape
Ajinkya Rahane will be leading India with regular skipper Virat Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma having been rested by the Indian board for the first Test.
Rahane has been under scrutiny for yet another poor show in England, where he was able to amass just 109 runs from four games.
Paranjape believes that Gill will be vying for a spot with Hanuma Vihari and Shreyas Iyer, who is likely to make his debut in Test cricket against New Zealand, for the middle-overs slots.
“Look sooner or later, Cheteshwar and Ajju (Ajinkya Rahane) won’t be playing. So, two out of three between Vihari, Shubman and Shreyas will grab those middle-order slots. Even if Shreyas doesn’t get an opportunity in this series, I won’t be very disheartened as his time will certainly come,” Paranjape asserted.
India will play the first Test against New Zealand on November 25 (Thursday) at the Greenpark Stadium in Kanpur.