Hamilton, Nov 27 (IANS): Former India head coach Ravi Shastri believes that young opener Shubman Gill is a quality cricketer who will be around for a long time in the international cricket arena.
Shastri's comments come after Gill sparkled in the 12.5 overs of play in the second ODI at Hamilton, which was abandoned due to rain. Gill drove elegantly past mid-on twice and cut Tim Southee fiercely through cover before the first spell of rain stopped play for nearly three-and-a-half hours.
After the match became 29 overs a side affair, Gill continued to shine in his timing and placement of shots, pulling Henry powerfully over deep backward square leg for six and was glorious in lofting inside-out off Michael Bracewell over extra cover for four to be 45 not out off 42 deliveries.
"His emphasis today was in the timing of the ball. Sometimes when you are out of your depth, you want to get on with it by trying to hit the ball hard. He was in good control with good footwork. It is great to watch him play."
"There is something regal about him. He is a quality player and he's going to be around for a long time(decade's time). He has good work ethics, he trains hard, he's hungry and he loves this game. He will continue to play because his grooming is good, he is always grounded," said Shastri on Prime Video after abandonment of the match.
Former India cricketer Anjum Chopra praised Gill for his exceptional growth in white-ball cricket this year, especially in ODIs, and pointed out that he is very close to being a regular in T20Is. Gill earned a maiden call-up to the India T20I squad for the series against New Zealand, but didn't get to play a single game as India won 1-0.
"Shubman's strike rate has improved in international cricket. He is averaging a healthy 70 plus in international cricket so, you are looking at a player who is developing. I was listening to Ajit Agarkar earlier on the show and he said, 'we have quality here and while Suryakumar Yadav was going the way he does, but let's not forget Gill, because he has found how he wants to play in international cricket'."
"In T20s, probably I can now understand why India team doesn't want to give him an opportunity right now. Let him become a more traditional player of ODIs and Test match level as well but T20I is a game he is very close to. This style of play that he has shown in the first one day international and then the second one day international, both have been very calm, composed yet impactful."
Talking about his impactful knock in Sunday's match, Anjum remarked, "So, initial part of the game for about four and a half overs, he was timing the ball down the ground, those cuts came through as well but the moment it went to a shortened version, we could actually see that he was trying to hit the ball into the gap lot harder than he was trying to time it."
"That was the only thing missing but it's that urgency that creeps in a batter's mind that how you want to score those runs. So, yes, I don't think Shubman Gill should be spoken less about because he is a class player."
Cricket enthusiasts in India can watch the third ODI against New Zealand on Prime Video on November 30. Pre-coverage starts from 6 am onwards.