Three reasons why Shubman Gill's inclusion deserves applause
A total of 372 runs in the Under-19 World Cup last January, 203 runs at a strike rate of almost 150 during the Indian Premier League in April-May, 418 runs in the Vijay Hazare trophy, 168 runs at an average of 84 in the Deodhar Trophy, 728 runs in the Ranji Trophy and tons of runs for India A in 2018. If Shubman Gill does not get a game for India's senior national side right now, the selectors are ignoring a serious talent.
For almost a year now, the 19-year old Shubman Gill from Fazilka district of Punjab in India is being hailed as the next big thing in Indian cricket. The figures stated above are a testament to it. The young right-handed batsman is calm, composed, attacking and most importantly has run - around a couple thousand in the last one year at the competitive level - on his side.
If you just look at Gill's batting statistics, he has seven centuries in 52 First Class and List A innings combined together. His batting strike rate is not less than 77 in either format and in T20's it is touching 150. He already has a big double hundred in first-class cricket and has shown he has it in him to bat for long hours. All in all, Shubman Gill is a youngster who deserves a place in the Indian side, 'purely' (an adjective India's captain Virat Kohli tends to use quite often) on the basis of merit.
The only reason one would argue against Shubman Gill's selection is to not disturb India's team balance with very little time and matches remaining before the World Cup. But for a middle order that has not been anywhere near impressive in the last year or so, the disturbance is the last thing Gill could cause to the team's balance.
Let us have a look at three reasons Gill's selection was long term overdue and how his selection for the New Zealand tour is a welcome change.