It did not take much time for Shubman Gill to draw the attention of the experts. In his first appearance at a global event at the age of 18, Gill impressed one and all. But none more than former New Zealand pacer Simon Doull, who put Gill ahead of Prithvi Shaw, the captain of the Indian side in the 2018 U19 World Cup and a much bigger name at that stage thanks to his exploits in the domestic circuit. Gill, India’s highest scorer in the tournament, has been on the radar ever since. And his graph has been rising consistently. During his maiden stint with the Indian side, then-India captain Virat Kohli said he was not even 10% as good as Gill was at the age of 19.
Gill’s Test career started pretty well in Australia. With the ability to play horizontal bat shots by riding on top of the bounce, the right-hander had a good time batting on Australian pitches. But when the action shifted to India, he struggled to get the big scores against England. He lost his place in the Test side to KL Rahul.
Instead of fading away, Gill started working on his game. He became an ODI beast with a dazzling display of big scores in the last couple of years. He even became the youngest male cricketer to score an ODI double century. The same form rubbed off even in T20Is.
When Rohit Sharma was injured in Bangladesh, he got his spot back in the Test side and hit his maiden century. Gill had well and truly arrived. He was scoring runs at will in every format.
Rohit’s return to the side meant Gill had to warm the benches in the first half of the Test series against Australia but a dip in Rahul’s form opened the doors for him in the third Test. The cricketer from Punjab looked solid in both innings of the Indore Test but the spin-friendly pitch got the better of him.
Gill more than made up for it in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad. He hit 12 fours and a six to smash 128 in India’s first innings. The knock more or less sealed his spot in India’s XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June. Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar went a step ahead and said not only the WTC final but Gill has confirmed his place as Rohit Sharma’s partner for the next few years in all formats.
“He’s only 23, he’s young and with the kind of form he has shown in pretty much all the formats, scoring centuries in ODis, T20Is and Test, it appears that Rohit Sharma’s partner for the next few years is sealed,” Gavaskar told Sports Tak.
Gill will next be seen in action in the three-match ODI series against Australia starting March 17 in Mumbai. India will be led by Hardik Pandya as regular captain Rohit Sharma is unavailable for the series opener due to personal reasons.