'He could be one of the standout performers in the tournament': Gilchrist can't stop raving over India youngster

Sep 22, 2023 02:59 PM IST

Adam Gilchrist has backed the 24-year-old India cricketer to set the World Cup on fire.

The legendary Adam Gilchrist, who knows a thing or two about winning World Cups, fancies home team India's chances at the grand cricketing extravaganza starting two weeks from today. Gilchrist, a three-time World Cup champion and part of Australia's hat-trick of title triumphs from 1999 to 2007, likes what he sees of the Indian squad, packed by a bunch of match-winners, but if there is one individual whom Gilchrist is backing to set the World Cup on fire, that is Shubman Gill. The India opener has been in scorching form this year, scoring over 1000 runs at an incredible average in excess of 70 and the former Australia wicketkeeper batter is expecting the 24-year-old to continue his juggernaut when the grand daddy of them all comes knocking on October 5.

Adam Gilchrist has delivered his verdict. (Getty/PTI)
Adam Gilchrist has delivered his verdict. (Getty/PTI)

"Shubman Gill. Everything that he has done in the international level, in every format, continues to amaze. He could possibly be one of the standout performers in the tournament. They have got a nice balance of experience, particularly of Rohit and Virat. KL Rahul is an experienced player already, and there's younger blood in and around that, is a nice balance," Gilchrist told Sportstar.

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"The power games of Pandya in the middle is an example. They have got a talented squad and the big thing in India is to handle the expectations. If they can find a way - like they did in 2011 - to not let that expectation swamp them and overshadow everything, they will be very competitive. But obviously, that will be a challenge internally."

Gill has already struck four ODI centuries this year with a highest of 208 against New Zealand in January and has only risen from strength to strength. But if the oppositions believe, Gill is the only they have to contain, they got another thing coming. India's resurgence to full strength, marked by the return of injured players, and their dominant performance in the Asia Cup serve as a timely reminder of their formidable prowess. Moreover, when playing on home turf, riding on the high of guys like Mohammed Siraj, who created a bit of history last Sunday against Sri Lanka in the final, Team India becomes an even more difficult to beat.

"At home, India will come in as one of the favourites and one of the most feared teams in the World Cup. They are getting their balance right - in terms of their batting order, bowling options. Of course, their spin bowlers need to fire but for Siraj to do that in an Asia Cup final (is incredible). I don't know whether those conditions will be similar to what we see in India, but he will certainly capitalise. But this effort will come in with a great deal of confidence for him. To blow away an international opposition team in the final like that, makes a huge statement," mentioned Gilchrist.

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