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Shubman Gill should be in the World Cup 2019 squad, and here is why

CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
495   //    22 Jan 2019, 15:30 IST

Shubman Gill - England U19's v India U19's
Shubman Gill - England U19's v India U19's

Shubman Gill, one of India's most recent batting prodigies, has made the cut into the Indian dressing room at a very young age. All his hard work and performances have finally paid off. After a remarkable 2018-19 domestic season he is selected in the ODI team against New Zealand.

Not only his consistent run in the domestic circuit is behind this call-up, but some credit also goes to Hardik Pandya & KL Rahul's latest talk-show controversy. Shubman Gill's sudden inclusion in the one-day setup seems like a gamble as the World Cup is just 6 months away. Behind his selection, however, there are some positives too which makes his selection totally valid before the mega event.


Why does Shubman deserve a World Cup spot?


With two world-class openers like Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma by the Indian side, it is never easy to find an adequate replacement. But Gill's case is a bit different. He is actually an opening batsman who can also bat in the middle-order. His IPL numbers justify this. He played almost the whole of IPL 2018 as a middle-order batsman and scored runs at an average of 33.83 with a whopping strike-rate of 146.04. He can therefore play a role of a floater for the Indian team in World Cup as it gives a measure of stability to the side. In the last World Cup, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane played the role of floater for India at number 4 and 5. Gill can play that role for India this year.

In the ongoing edition of Ranji Trophy, he has 728 runs in 9 innings with an astonishing average of 104 including his career-best 268 runs against Tamil Nadu. This shows how good his form is at the moment. The Indian team can take advantage of Shubman Gill's good form in the upcoming away and home series against New Zealand and Australia respectively and can groom him for the upcoming edition of World Cup. 

England Lions v India A - Tri-Series International
England Lions v India A - Tri-Series International

Another fair reason behind this is that Shubman Gill also has experience of playing in English conditions. He was the part of India A limited-overs side that played in England last year. The conditions in England and New Zealand are very much similar to each other, and everyone is aware of his performance in the 2018 ICC Under-19 World Cup that was held in New Zealand. He scored 418 runs with an average of 104.50 in the U-19 World Cup and was also the Player of the Tournament.

Despite having several things in his favor, everyone knows that it's not going to be that easy for Shubman Gill too. Before that World Cup spot, the Kiwi challenge is waiting for him and he has a point to prove, to himself and the rest of the team. This series marks the perfect opportunity for the 19-year-old Indian batsman to grab these opportunities and shoulder the responsibility of carrying the legacy, reputation and pride of the Indian batting order ahead in the coming future.

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