Sixteen years of dreaming and working to play for India seem to have borne fruit for Shubman Gill as 19-year-old has been selected in the India team for the ODI and T20I tour of New Zealand, which begins on January 23. Fazilka boy, who moved to Mohali to hone skills, has been in excellent form in the Ranji Trophy, with two 100s and five 50s. He was included in squad after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were suspended. “After the 2019 World Cup, he can make it to the (Indian) side,” Yuvraj Singh recently predicted about Gill, hailing him as a “special talent”. Gill’s selection in the Indian team only affirmed that belief. Gill has impressed one and all with his batting prowess and a staggering average of 77.78 since he made his first-class debut in November 2017 is a testimony to his talent. He has put up two very significant scores in last one month: 268 against Tamil Nadu and 148 against Hyderabad.
The second knock at Hyderabad helped Punjab nearly pull off an improbable chase on last day of their Ranji Trophy match in December. Chasing 338 for victory, Punjab, powered by Gill, finished at 324/8. “After a long time there is a young guy whose batting I like to watch. He is very exciting,” Yuvi had said about his state-mate. Interestingly, in the nine first-class matches he has played so far, he has not aggregated less than 50 even once. Gill also had a great role in India’s success at the ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand early last year. The dashing top-order batsman smashed a timely 102 to help India beat Pakistan in the semis and was named the Player of the Tournament. Rated highly by the likes of Rahul Dravid and WV Raman, Gill has the belief that he can deliver at the big stage. “When these guys hold you in good esteem, you know that you are moving in the right direction and just need to carry on,” said Gill.
Source: The Tribune
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