'That 91 in Gabba was world-class. I will have a close eye...': Shastri has his say on Gill's spot in India XI vs AUS
While the debate continues amid India yet to confirm their final XI for the opening Test match against Australia in Nagpur, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has given his verdict on Gill's selection in the playing XI.
Shubman Gill has been impressive in Tests as a back-up opener. Each time an opportunity was presented, he grabbed it with both hands, hence compelling veterans and experts of the game to debate on whether its time for him to replace one of the primary options, KL Rahul. While the debate continues amid India yet to confirm their final XI for the opening Test match against Australia in Nagpur, former India head coach Ravi Shastri has given his verdict on Gill's selection in the playing XI.
There are two places where India can fit Gill in the line-up - he can either partner captain Rohit Sharma at his usual spot at the top of the batting order or serve as a temporary replacement for injured Shreyas Iyer in the middle-order.
Gill has been in sensational form lately, having scored four hundreds, including a record double-century, in the last seven innings for India. And all those knocks came in white-ball cricket but it would be hard to ignore a talent who is being hailed as Virat Kohli's true successor.
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Shastri, in his conversation with a select group of journalists in a press conference organised by Star Sports, gave a reminder of Gill's "world-class" knock of 91 in Gabba in 2021. He admitted that Gill would surely be in the final 12 for the Nagpur opener, with his inclusion depending on the conditions.
“I am not forgetting Gill, Shubman Gill. I’ll have a close eye on Shubman Gill the day before the game starts, after seeing the conditions. So if I have to announce the 12, Gill won’t be far. Don’t forget the last two innings he played against Australia – in Melbourne, he batted beautifully when India won; and at the Gabba, it was his innings that really set up the game. That 91 in the second innings was world-class,” the 60-year-old said.
In his 25 Test innings, Gill has opened 24 times, scoring 689 runs with a ton and four fifties.