'What else does he need to do?': Ganguly names 'permanent player' in India WTC final XI; gives verdict on Ashwin, Jadeja
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly said Shubman Gill is now a 'permanent player' in the Indian side and will be one of the first ticks when Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid sit to select the India XI for the WTC final against Australia in June 7 at The Oval, England.
There was a big question mark dangling over India's opening pair in the future due to KL Rahul's poor run of form. Who will be Rohit Sharma's partner in the longest format, was the biggest question. Shubman Gill appears to have erased all the doubts, at least for now. The right-hander replaced Rahul, who was dropped after a horror run with the bat at the top of the order, in the third Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. He could not do much in the spinner-friendly Indore pitch but with his positive intent and solid strokes, he gave indications that a big score was around the corner. And so it was. Gill smashed a superb century in the fourth Test in Ahmedabad.
Gill was always rated as the one for the future. In fact, this is not the first time he has been given a run as the Test opener. When Rahul lost his form and Prithvi Shaw's technical deficiencies were laid bare in Australia, Gill got to make his debut and did well. But in the matches after the Australia tour, Gill failed to get the big scores despite getting off to start. Rahul again got his spot back in England due to an injury Gill and grabbed it with both hands. Gill has had to wait for more than a year to regain his place back in the Test side. This time around, he has gotten off to a superb start. He got his maiden Test century in December in Bangladesh and backed that up with another solid knock in the fourth Test against Australia.
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Not to forget, in between his indifferent run in Test cricket, Gill has enjoyed a stellar run in limited-overs cricket, smashing centuries in both ODIs and T20Is. Reacting to Gill's future, former India captain Sourav Ganguly said the 23-year-old youngster is a 'permanent player' in the Indian side and will be one of the first ticks when Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid sit to select the India XI for the WTC final against Australia in June 7 at The Oval, England.
"Firstly, congratulations to India for beating Australia. India have won in Australia, and they have won in England so there is no reason why they can't win it again (In the WTC final). Bat well, score 350-400, and you'll be in a position to win. Yeah (I see Shubman Gill retaining his place in the side). He has been brilliant in the last six-seven months. What else does he need to do? He's a permanent player now," Ganguly told Rev Sports.
The former BCCI president was all praise for India's premier spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who were named as joint Player of the Series for their outstanding performance both with bat and ball in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which India won 2-1.
"Ashwin and Jadeja have been very good. You also have to speak about Axar Patel. He quietly does a good job lower down the order with the bat. Whenever he gets to bowl, he bowls well. That's India's strength, having Jadeja, Ashwin and Axar. I know you can't play all three away but there is tremendous potential there," Ganguly added.