Former India chairman of selectors MSK Prasad believes that if Shubman Gill is healthy, he should be included in the team to face Pakistan. Shubman Gill’s swift recuperation has now made him a strong candidate for rejoining India’s playing lineup in the 2023 World Cup match against Pakistan in Ahmedabad.
Initially, the prospects of Gill playing against Pakistan seemed slim as he had only been discharged from the hospital the night before on Tuesday. However, there was a positive change in his condition by Wednesday night, and he promptly travelled from Chennai to Ahmedabad.
On Thursday morning, he resumed practice, marking his first training session in over a week. The video shown on Star Sports depicted Gill in a cheerful mood before he went to practice in the morning at approximately 11:30. He was joined by Team India physio Kamlesh and throwdown specialist Nuwan Seneviratne. Gill spent nearly an hour batting in the Motera nets. During the session, he faced throwdowns and deliveries from some net bowlers, and he didn’t appear to be experiencing any physical discomfort.
Towards the conclusion of the practice, the 24-year-old also engaged in catching drills to sharpen his fielding abilities. With over a day left before the Pakistan match, Shubman Gill is scheduled for another full practice session with the Indian team on Friday evening. If he performs satisfactorily during this session, there’s a strong possibility that he could make his World Cup debut on Saturday. This also implies that the Indian team management has dismissed the idea of including Ruturaj Gaikwad or Yashasvi Jaiswal as substitutes.
“I think we can put an end to all kinds of speculations. Shubman Gill will definitely play this game (vs Pakistan). He’s too good a player to miss out. He had just a fever. He has recovered. It was not threatening at all that we would even think about replacements. It’s all rumours that are coming out (about the seriousness of the illness) in whatever form that you are hearing,” former India chairman of selectors MSK Prasad told hindustantimes.com.
Prasad mentioned that Gill didn’t go to Delhi for India’s game against Afghanistan as a precautionary measure.
“What we heard was that as a matter of precaution, he couldn’t play the second game otherwise he was fine. He stayed back for one more day in Chennai as a precaution. He recovered well, and was discharged. See if someone is playing for 1 bour that means he has recovered. This is an all-important game against Pakistan. If he is fit, which I’m sure he is, then he should be in India’s playing XI,” he added.
Gill’s remarkable performance history at the Narendra Modi Stadium
If Gill participates in the Pakistan match, it would be a significant advantage for India for two main reasons. Firstly, while Ishan Kishan is a decent option as an opener, he doesn’t offer the same level of stability that Gill provides.
Additionally, Gill has an outstanding track record at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, despite not having played an ODI there. In his four matches at this venue, including three Tests and a T20I, he maintains an impressive average of 93 and boasts two centuries.
“This is the ground where he has played his franchise cricket. He understands every blade of grass about this ground. He knows how to get runs here. With the kind of record he has at this ground and the kind of record he had in the last 1 year, he should definitely play.”
“In the first couple of games, especially against Afghanistan, we didn’t require him. The others did the job but now if we look at Pakistan, they are also coming on the back of two wins. It would be very good if we go in with the best possible XI.”
“Ishan of course has done reasonably well in the second game but when a person like Shubman Gill is there, you have one more match-winner to the XI. This is not a T20 game where he needs to go slam-bang. He can take his time, get set, occupy the crease and then see how it goes. Ideally, I would want him in the XI,” the former India keeper-batter said.