Editor’s Pick: Has Shubman Gill Ticked All Boxes To Succeed In Test Cricket?

Despite enjoying success in white ball cricket at youth level, Shubman Gill is much better placed in terms of ability and temperament to succeed in Test Cricket.

No doubt, the vice-captain of 2018 Under-19 World Cup, Shubman Gill has hogged the spot-light right in his test debut in the Boxing Day Test match against Australia. Gill repaid the faith shown by the team management as he replaced out-of-form Prithvi Shaw at the top of the batting order during the second test match in Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Opening with Mayank Agarwal, Gill batted sensibly in both the innings. Scoring 45 runs in the first innings, he notched the third-highest score by an Indian debutant in Australia. In the second innings, he remained unbeaten at 35 as India cruised to the victory by eight wickets.

Gill has all the attributes just as a plethora of beams split through a prism. Be it body language, timing the ball, resilience, batting technique, skill and maturity, Gill has it all in the stroke of his bat.

A bird’s eye view of his brief cricketing journey poignantly shows that he let himself understand the track, the balling mentality and the conditions in all tranquility. Even his white-ball scorecards deliberate that he doesn’t deem that fit for the shorter formats as of now.

Revisiting his ODI stats and his IPL 2020 performance, it is clear that he did provide stability, but that came at the cost of some extra balls. Certainly, he lacks the lustrous batting strike rates as demanded by the shorter formats but surely has the composure to play long Test innings. Although he has given confidence as an opener, his batting repertoire can be tested at different positions in some comfortable matches. 

As the youngster showcased his exemplary skills with the willow, Gill received an overwhelming response from cricketing fans and veterans. Amid heaps of praises pouring for the young player, the former Indian player Wasim Jaffer made a sensible remark. Jaffer’s Tweet aimed to urge people to abstain from comparing the young player in the wake of comparisons that are naturally drawn between newcomers and senior players. He feels that a lot of talent gets subdued and soiled under such volcanic pressure and unreal expectations.

Not just with the debutant on the field, the chilly spines were all starchy at the viewing front as well. The viewership at the odd commencement hours was made worthy by Shubman Gill. He jolted the seamstress comprising the experienced pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazelwood, Pat Cummins and the deadly spinner Nathan Lyon.

As the test series is now leveled, India’s adrenaline rush to repeat the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar memories is heightened. No doubt, both countries’ cricketers would run errands to attract the title under their belt.

The third test’s excitement to commence from January 7, 2021, at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) is all the more enhanced. With the swashbuckling seniors- Rohit Sharma David Warner joining Indian and Australian team respectively, the upcoming test matches appear to be more glittering. Gill has done enough to start next two games, but 80 odd runs at MCG does show that more is to come from the dashing young batsman.

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