"Not that Mayank Agarwal isn't a good player, but for me, Shubman Gill takes the lead" - Salman Butt 

India v New Zealand - ICC World Test Championship Final: Day 3
India v New Zealand - ICC World Test Championship Final: Day 3

Former Pakistan skipper Salman Butt has heaped praise on India's 22-year-old opener Shubman Gill. Speaking ahead of the upcoming Test match against New Zealand on his YouTube channel, Butt pointed out that he enjoys watching the 22-year old bat. He noted how the talented youngster is technically very sound as he is strong both off the front foot and the back foot.

Butt added he was mightily impressed with Gill's exploits with the bat in the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand earlier this year. Furthermore, he also lauded the right-hander for his gutsy knock of 91 at the Gabba against Australia. Here's what he said:

"I really like Shubman Gill. Not that Mayank Agarwal is not a good player, but for me, Shubman Gill takes the lead. He plays beautifully and is technically very sound. The way he played in the World Test Championship and in Australia was brilliant,"

While India are set to lock horns with the Kiwis on Thursday in the first Test match of their series, the India A side are currently battling it out against South Africa A. Reacting to Prithvi Shaw's quick-fire knock of 48 in the game, Butt remarked that the 22-year old batter needs to play a big innings for his team.

India A rode on captain @PKpanchal9's 45*, @PrithviShaw's 48 & Abhimanyu Easwaran's 27* & ended Day 2 of the first #SAAvINDA 4-day game at 125/1 after South Africa A declared at 509/7. 📸 📸: Cricket South AfricaHere's the report 🔽

He has often enthralled viewers with his boundaries, but it is important for him to convert his quick starts into hundreds, according to Butt. Here's what he added:

"Looking at his talent and the shots he has, I feel he should score a 100. He needs to score big. We've seen him get starts with a lot of fours and sixes. But he needs to score big and he has the potential to do so"

"You'd see a spinner bowling with the new-ball" - Salman Butt feels India could start with spin against New Zealand

Butt also predicted that Ajinkya Rahane could throw the new-ball to a spinner, given that the wicket at Kanpur is conducive for spin bowling. But he feels it all depends on how the strip has been prepared for the encounter. He said:

"If the wicket is a spin friendly one, then you'd see that a spinner will bowl with the new ball as well. In that case, they will not miss having a pace who has genuine pace,"

The Indian side are expected to play three spinners in the Test series opener against New Zealand. As per Butt, the team will regret not playing a seamer who bowls at express pace if the wicket does not offer much turn for the spin bowlers.

Watch the full video here:

Edited by Shourjo Chatterjee
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