Former Australian player and cricket expert Kerry O'Keeffe heaped praise on young Indian opener Shubman Gill for his maiden half-century on Day 2 of the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).
The 71-year-old believes that it is only the beginning of an illustrious Test career for the youngster.
Team India did a fabulous job to restrict Australia to 338 in their first innings when the hosts looked good for more. The visitors, in response, needed a good start from their openers Rohit Sharma and Gill. They got one, as Gill and Sharma blunted the Australian new-ball attack to add 70 runs for the opening wicket.
The 21-year-old Shubman Gill did a fine job in the middle, showing intent in both his defensive and attacking strokes, while bringing up his maiden Test half-century.
Shubman Gill's eight boundaries included some scintillating strokes that impressed O'Keeffe.
Speaking to foxsports.com.au, Kerry O'Keeffe explained why he feels that Shubman Gill is the next big thing in Indian cricket, saying in this regard:
“This (Shubman Gill) is a player. He keeps the bat face open when he first goes in, sweats on half volleys. He’s got this punch through extra cover; he controls his pull shots. He’s a very strong puller-hooker of anything short, and if you give him width and fullness, he’s got nimble feet against the spinners. Plenty more to come for Shubman Gill at Test level, you’d think."
Shubman Gill gets praise from Sunil Gavaskar
With the series level at 1-1, the visitors know that another win will ensure that they will retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. In this context, it would be crucial for Team India to take a first-innings lead, as batting last on the SCG wicket could be a tricky proposition.
Gill's half-century ensured that the threat of the new ball was nullified. Although the youngster would be gutted for not converting his half-century into a bigger score, many former Indian players have congratulated the 21-year-old for his fine innings.
Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar was especially mesmerised with the way Shubman Gill got behind the line of the ball while defending. Gavaskar, who was a great opening batsman, says that Shubman Gill is the next potential superstar of Indian cricket.
Shubhman Gill had also got an opportunity to showcase his prowess during the ongoing tour when he played the third ODI in Canberra. Although he didn't get a big score there, he looked good on his Test debut in Melbourne and played some impressive shots in Sydney as well.
If he continues to display the same level of consistency, it would only be a matter of time before he represents the country in all three formats of the game. For now, Shubman Gill will have his focus firmly fixed on sealing the Border-Gavaskar Trophy for India.Published 08 Jan 2021, 15:26 IST