Opinion: Shubman Gill, "the next big thing" in world cricket
Shubman Gill is the latest prodigy of India's high-quality batting production line. The 19-year-old batsman from Punjab is determined to achieve big in the international cricket and has been delivering consistently in the opportunities provided to him.
Ever since his phenomenal performance in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, Shubman has been knocking the doors of the senior team. Gill scored 372 runs at an astonishing average of 124 which included one century in the all the important semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan to go with 3 half-centuries. He was adjudged as the 'player of the tournament' for 2018 U-19 World Cup and was hailed by all the experts as a player to watch out for.
His exploits in the Youth World Cup saw him attract a very high bid in the IPL Auction as he was bought by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) for ₹1.8 crores. The youngster didn't disappoint and even after batting in the lower middle order, managed to score 203 runs from 11 innings at an excellent average of 33.83 to go with a strike rate of 146.04.
The 19-year old star's performance in the domestic circuit has also been top notch this season and has amassed 629 runs in just 7 innings (4 matches) at an average of 125.80. Overall, in his short first-class career Gill has scored 990 runs from 8 matches at an average of 82.50 and has scored 3 centuries and 6 fifties while maintaining a strike rate of 77.28 runs per 100 balls.
His highest score of 268 came against Tamil Nadu in the ongoing Ranji season where he plundered the Tamil Nadu bowlers with ease. While Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw have grabbed their chances with both hands, Gill can be added in the squad to keep the two on their toes and can be a good replacement for KL Rahul and Murli Vijay in the Indian test side.
His playing technique and temperament are very similar to that of Virat Kohli, which has led to him being termed as 'the next Virat Kohli'. His short-arm jab shot is the perfect example justifying the tag given to him. Here's a look at Gill reproducing the short-arm jab shot:
This Punjabi batsman is surely giving the Indian team selectors a headache with his consistency and fabulous performances at each and every level. Gill also has a terrific List-A record, he has amassed 1529 runs from 36 games, averaging close to 48 with 4 hundred and 7 fifty plus scores.
He was also the part of Deodhar Trophy winning India C team. He scored a brilliant century in the virtual semi-final against India A to take his side into the finals. He could be a solution to India's middle-order batting issues in the ODIs and a third opening option as time and again he has shown that he can make any batting position his own.
He has been consistent throughout 2018 for all teams he has played. It will be captivating to see whether the young star can follow his U-19 teammate and breakthrough into the senior side in any format this year or not.
But surely, with the amount of talent he has and the time on his side, Shubhman Gill looks all set to be "The Next Big Thing" in the International Cricket.