Shubman Gill is one of the most talented youngsters in the Indian cricket field right now. The right-handed batsman won the hearts of the fans with his incredible performance for the Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2020. Despite staying out of action for months, the former India U-19 star ended the season as the highest run-scorer for his team.
It is pertinent to note that the Knight Riders squad featured the likes of Eoin Morgan, Andre Russell, Dinesh Karthik, Tom Banton, and several other big names. Still, Shubman Gill outshone everyone with his phenomenal batting performances. The selectors have rewarded him for his rich form. He played a couple of ODIs against New Zealand earlier in his career, but he is yet to represent the Indian cricket team in other formats.
The BCCI has named Shubman Gill in the Test squad for the upcoming Australian tour. While not many fans expect him to debut Down Under, here are the three reasons why the Punjab-based player is likely to play his first Test match soon.
Question mark over Rohit Sharma’s fitness
There has been a strange controversy about Rohit Sharma’s availability this year. The Hitman is currently leading the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. But the BCCI has rested him for the ODI and T20I series versus Australia. Earlier in the day, the selectors named him in the Test squad, citing that he could play only if he clears the test.
Since Rohit Sharma had cemented his spot as an opener, his unavailability will leave a huge hole at the top. Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal are the options available as openers, but the team management might prefer Shubman Gill because of Shaw’s horrendous run in IPL 2020.
Virat Kohli’s paternity leave
The fans have rarely seen Virat Kohli take a break from Test cricket. The Indian skipper has regularly stated in his interviews that Test cricket is his favourite format. Unfortunately, he will miss the last three tests against Australia because Anushka Sharma will become a mother in January. Since these are testing times for everyone, staying with Anushka should be and is the first priority for Virat Kohli.
In case Rohit Sharma is fit to play in the ICC World Test Championship series versus Australia, Shubman Gill could make his Test debut in the second game of the series. Virat Kohli’s absence will demand a new number four batsman. As Gill can bat anywhere in the Top 4, Ajinkya Rahane could use him in the middle order.
Stupendous form in domestic cricket
The main reason why Shubman Gill deserves to be in the playing XI during the series against Australia is because of his magnificent performance in the domestic arena. Speaking of his numbers in first-class cricket, the 21-year-old has already amassed 2,133 runs in 21 matches.
He has a brilliant batting average of 73.55, while his highest score is 268. His seven hundreds and ten fifties show that Gill can score runs consistently. Thus, it will not be a surprise if the fans see him don the whites for the nation in the high-profile Test series versus the Aussies.