'Shubman Gill match-winner in all formats; Rahane should play ahead of SKY': Vengsarkar on India vs Australia WTC final
Vengsarkar shared his thoughts on Shubman Gill's prospects, Rohit Sharma's form and how English conditions are different from most parts of the world.
Dilip Vengsarkar knows a thing or two about scoring runs in England. The 'Colonel', as he is fondly known, is the fifth on the list among Indian batters with most Test runs in England. He scored 960 runs in 13 matches in England at an average of 48 with four centuries and as many half-centuries. He is also the only Indian with three centuries at the iconic Lord's. Hindustan Times caught up with the former India chairman of selectors to get his insights on the upcoming World Test Championship final between India and Australia, set to be played at The Oval in London. Vengsarkar shared his thoughts on Shubman Gill's prospects, Rohit Sharma's form and how English conditions are different from most parts of the world.
Here are the excerpts
This will be Shubman Gill's second WTC final. Is he more prepared now?
Shubman Gill is an outstanding cricketer. We expect a lot from him. He has a very bright future for India. He is a very skilful player. He has got a good temperament and all the other necessary qualities to play for India for a long time and developed into a match-winner.
Does he need to make any technical adjustments to succeed in England?
No, not at all. If you look at his batting carefully, the strokes he plays are mostly according to the manual. They are all cricketing shots even in the T20 format. That is why he is an all-format player.
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Speaking of technical adjustments, Virat Kohli recently said he won't change his batting approach in T20s as he has to play the longer formats... Your thoughts?
He is a vastly experienced cricketer so if he has said something about his batting, he is the best judge. We all know what he can do. He is a world-class player and no doubt he will be a crucial factor for India's chances in the WTC final. It will be a treat to watch if he gets going.
Rohit Sharma has not been in very good form of late...
Rohit's role will be very crucial both as a captain and also as an opener. He is a big match player and the occasion can't get any bigger than this. I hope he brings his A-game to the table.
But won't his dry run in the IPL affect his mindset in the WTC final?
More than the form I think the fact that he will be straightaway coming to the Test match from T20s might be a bit of an issue. I wish they had a few practice games before the WTC final. When you go into a Test match as big as this and remember, there are no second chances, unlike a series, it is important you are prepared well.
How are the English conditions different?
English conditions are very different from what we see here in India or even in Australia. The ball can swing for a longer duration if conditions are like that. The length that the bowlers bowl is also a bit different. And if there is an extra bounce on offer then it is that much more difficult. So, I hope the Indian batters acclimatise very soon. They are all experienced players. They have toured England before. It's the same for Australia. The team that adapts and acclimatises to the condition quicker will do well.
Ajinkya Rahane has made a comeback into the Test side. Do you see him playing in the WTC final?
I hope Rahane gets the nod ahead of Suryakumar Yadav because he is an experienced player. He has played good knocks in English conditions in the past. His technique is such that he can adapt to the English conditions quickly.
Who should be India's keeper in the absence of Rishabh Pant?
KS Bharat is the specialist wicketkeeper, so I think he should play.