In the first ODI against Sri Lanka, Shubman Gill was selected over Ishan Kishan, the man who had scored a double ton in his last 50-over match. Gill repaid the faith with a well-compiled 70 from 60 balls to set up India’s mammoth 67-run win over Sri Lanka in the opening ODI in Guwahati on Tuesday.
Gill had a fruitful 2022 in the ODI format where he scored 638 runs from 12 innings at an average of 70.88 and it included his maiden century and four fifties. Former Indian cricketer Mohammad Kaif believes Team India made the right call by playing Gill ahead of Kishan.
“It was the right decision. They are playing the better player. It is not that a left-hander is being sent at the top of the order so that you get a left-right combination. Shikhar Dhawan was playing because he was a good player and had a good record and not because he was a left-hander.”
“They played Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer. Gill will have to be praised because he knows the atmosphere in which he is playing. He knows Shikhar has been dropped and Ishan Kishan is sitting outside after scoring a double century but he showed faith in his game.” Kaif was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda.
He punches the ball very well: Mohammad Kaif
He began 2023 with yet another half-century as he along with Rohit put on a 143-run opening stand that set the tone for India’s mammoth 373/7. Kaif said Gill was aggressive before Rohit started the acceleration.
“It was a typical Gill knock. He punches the ball very well. It is not that he is going to take time, it is not that he needs 15-20 balls. If you bowl a bad ball, he hits a boundary. He showed that by doing it today.”
“Rohit Sharma started playing fast later. Shubman Gill hit the fours at the start. He gave momentum to the Indian innings. I like him a lot. He has the timing and elegance. He plays the flicks, the drives. The form he has got, he had a very good 2022 and is coming after scoring a century in a Test match, he made the best of that.”