Three reasons why Shubman Gill's inclusion deserves applause
#2 A Fragile Indian Middle Order
In the last year or so, the performance of India's middle order in one day international cricket has been disappointing, to say the least. While the top three - Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli - have done the bulk of the scoring, there has been only one individual century from any other Indian batsman for over a year now.
During India's first one day International played against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground yesterday, the middle order continued with its bad form. Four of India's top six got out in single figures while chasing a big target of 289. While Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli are almost certain to play the World Cup, the form and match practice of Ambati Rayudu as well as Dinesh Karthik is still very much a cause of concern.
Ambati Rayudu is also very much likely to play through to this year's big cricket tournament as Virat Kohli has backed him as the number four batsman leading up to the all-important World Cup that starts in June. However, the position of Dinesh Karthik, who was brought in as a lower middle order batsman is still not certain.
India would ideally love to have two wicketkeepers in the World Cup squad, out of MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant or KL Rahul. But if India are looking for options, they need an in-form middle order batsman and can make settling their wicket keeping options as a second priority.
For India to stay in the hunt during the New Zealand series, it would be ideal to play Shubman Gill regularly at any batting position.