AA Edit | A new batting star rises
Gill has all the markings to push for inclusion in the pantheon of Indian batting greats if he sustains his form across the formats
The biggest gain amid India’s unbeaten run in ODIs and T20i during the home season against Sri Lanka and New Zealand is the fulfilment of his talent by Shubman Gill who may have realised there are no limits to his productivity at the batting crease. As a young batter of promise, he was highly regarded and because he displayed such elegance in strokeplay, he was given every opportunity to come good.
In making a century in the T20 format in which he had experienced just a bit of difficulty in getting off the blocks quickly enough, he demonstrated that he is a capable 3-format performer with three centuries and a double century to his name in ODIs and a maiden hundred in T20i at the robust strike rate of two runs per ball in what was also the highest score by an Indian batter in the shortest format.
The Punjab batter seems to have so much time at his disposal in conceiving and executing his strokes that the future of Indian batsmanship could well be in his hands as it was with Virat Kohli and before him Sachin Tendulkar. And the package comes with such grace in elegant, wristy batting, besides the power to loft the ball at will, a much-needed gift in white ball cricket, that Gill has all the markings to push for inclusion in the pantheon of Indian batting greats if he sustains his form across the formats.
Gill has pushed ahead of a few inconsistent performers at the top of the white ball order by consistently displaying he has the measure of any kind of challenge the playing conditions can offer. Having performed without showing any nerves in Test match cricket as early as on the 2020-21 tour of Australia, the easy dispenser of pick-up shots to the onside, attractive drives to the onside and through the covers, he has an array of productive strokes that beat the field often enough to show his mastery at the crease.
More significantly, Gill has the basic orthodoxy of strokes to force the white ball without having to play any trick shots. The weight of expectations from now may be much more as a leader of the early Indian batting order. It remains to be seen if he can stretch his profligacy to the extent of helping break the ICC Cup event jinx upon Team India.