Indian cricket team skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed that Shubman Gill is likely to play against Pakistan in the much-anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 clash. Gill missed the first two matches of the Cricket World Cup 2023 against Australia and Afghanistan due to illness as he was reportedly suffering from dengue.
However, he travelled to Ahmedabad with the team and he even took part in a batting practice session on Thursday. This will be the Cricket World Cup debut for Gill who has impressed across all three formats in the past year. “99 per cent he (Gill) will play. We’ll see tomorrow (Saturday) about that,” Rohit Sharma said when asked about Gill’s health at the pre-match press conference.
Rohit Sharma was also asked about playing three spinners in Ahmedabad to which he said he has not seen the pitch but if there is a requirement, he will consider playing three spinners as the players are ready to step up.
R Ashwin featured in playing XI against Australia in Chennai but dropped in the following game against Afghanistan. Ashwin was included in the Indian squad for World Cup after Axar Patel was ruled out due to injury. “I don’t know. I haven’t looked at the pitch yet. If there is requirement, players are ready to step up,” said Rohit Sharma.
In 20 ODIs this year, Shubman Gill has scored 1,230 runs at an average of 72.35 and a strike rate of just above 105. He has scored five centuries and five fifties this year, with the best of 208.
In India’s previous match against Afghanistan, the Men in Blue clinched an 8-wicket win against Hashmatullah Shahidi’s Afghanistan side. Set a target of 273 after pacer Jasprit Bumrah’s heroic 4/39, India won the match after the top order consisting of skipper Rohit Sharma (131), Ishan Kishan (47), and Virat Kohli (55*). It fired Men in Blue towards a with more than 14 overs left.
Gill’s inclusion in the Indian squad for the Cricket World Cup 2023 was a boost for the team as he is in the form of his life. He has been scoring runs consistently across all three formats and his performance in the ODIs this year has been exceptional.
Shubman Gill’s inclusion in the playing XI against Pakistan will give India more options in the batting department. He is a versatile batsman who can bat at any position in the order and his ability to score runs quickly will be a valuable asset for India in the Cricket World Cup.
It remains to be seen whether India will play three spinners against Pakistan, but Rohit Sharma has confirmed that the players are ready to step up if there is a requirement. The pitch in Ahmedabad is expected to be spin-friendly, so it will be interesting to see what combination India goes with for their bowling attack.