File photo of Shikhar Dhawan© AFP
Shubman Gill earned a recall to the Indian ODI side this year, and has taken his opportunities with both hands, winning the Player of the Series award against both West Indies and Zimbabwe. In the six matches he has played against the Windies and Zimbabwe, Gill scored three half-centuries and a century. He could have had another ton as well, but rain played spoilsport and left him stranded on 98 in the 3rd ODI against West Indies. Former New Zealand all-rounder Scott Styris said the 22-year-old has “a huge future in front of him” and that he is putting pressure on veteran opener Shikhar Dhawan, with the World Cup set to be played in India next year.
“That is such a tough question and the reason I say that is because you’ve got four or five players who could all open up and do a terrific job,” Styris said on Sports18 on whether Gill can become India’s first-choice opener.
Captain Rohit Sharma and Dhawan are the preferred openers at the moment.
“The question you have is, do you simply pick on who’s in the best form at that time, or does there what they’ve done in the past count for anything? What have they done in the ICC events? All of these things come into the equation,” Styris further said.
“I think he’s got a huge future in front of him for this Indian side. So yes, that’s the answer. He’s putting pressure on Shikhar Dhawan,” he said about Gill.
Styris, however, noted that Dhawan holds an advantage over Gill.
“Does he go over the top of them? I still think they love that left-handed option. There aren’t too many top-order left-handers who are taking the game by the scruff of the neck in Indian cricket as an opener and therefore Shikhar Dhawan has that going in his favour so maybe Shubman Gill has to bide his time a little bit or as we saw number 3 might be a spot for him,” he said.
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