Opinion: Why the time might not be right for Shubman Gill's debut in the NZ series
Young and promising, Shubman Gill is considered to be the next big thing in the cricketing world. He is a top-order batsman and has shown great patience and calmness in his batting, a rare quality nowadays.
In his debut Ranji match against Bengal, he scored his maiden hundred in the second innings. Gill came into limelight for his brilliant performances in the ICC U19 World Cup, where he amassed 372 runs, the second highest in the tournament.
Due to the suspension of KL Rahul, he was called as the replacement to join the Indian team for the NZ series, in January 2019. It was a surprising call due to the controversy around the Indian Test team opener. Else, Gill might have had to wait further to join the Indian team. Now, he would fancy his opportunity to make a place in the playing XI against New Zealand.
"It can take years to mold a dream. It takes only a fraction of a second for it to be shattered."― Mary E. Pearson, The Kiss of Deception.
The reason, why the timing is not right for him, is that a debut against NZ at their home soil would be a tough challenge against their quality pace attack. Though he already has the experience of playing in NZ during the ICC U19 World Cup, there is an enormous difference while playing against a U19 side and a top bowling unit, consisting Tim Southee and Trent Boult.
Indian batsmen have always found hard to score in the swing conditions of NZ as it was evident in the last tour of 2014. Only Virat Kohli was able to register just one ODI hundred in the five-match series. So, a debut on home soil might be a better prospect for him.
Another factor is that the ICC World Cup 2019 is just round the corner. It doesn't look workable for him to make a place in the final squad of the most coveted tournament.
Also, there is not much scope for a change in the settled squad. Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav have played some good innings in the middle order and deserve much-needed match experience before the World Cup.
So, the time might not be right for him to represent the Indian team and he should ideallmake his debut after the World Cup.