IND vs. ZIM 2022: “Shubman is prepared as an opener for the ODI World Cup”

Former Team India keeper-batter Deep Dasgupta reckons Shubman Gill will be groomed as the opener for the ODI World Championship, which will be held in India in 2023. However, he opined that KL Rahul should open the innings in Zimbabwe since the priority now is to give him as much clout as possible ahead of the Asian Cup.

The ODI series in Zimbabwe, which begins August 18, marks Rahul’s return to international cricket. He last played for India in February during the home series against the West Indies. He has not played competitive cricket since IPL 2022.

Rahul was initially not part of the Zimbabwe tour. However, he was included in the squad and even made captain after being declared fit. The return of the right-hander puts the Indian think tank in a dilemma.

Gill and Shikhar Dhawan were an impressive opening pair in the ODI against the Windies. Speaking to PTI, however, Dasgupta backed Rahul to open ahead of Gill. He explained:

“I agree it’s difficult after you’ve had such a good streak. But for now, the goal is to prepare Rahul for the opening spot of the Asia Cup T20. He needs to get a lot of batting time and that’s a priority. I think it will be a short term agreement as I believe Shubman will be groomed as an opener for the ODI World Cup.”

Gill was the Series Player as India beat West Indies 3-0 in the ODIs. The 22-year-old did not get out with grades of 64, 43 and 98.


“Shubman is properly cared for” – Former national selector

Former national selector and Test opener Devang Gandhi also shared views similar to Dasgupta. According to him, Gill will beat against Zimbabwe at number 3. He explained his views and said:

“I think Shubman is being cared for in the right way by Indian team management. While he’s done exceptionally well at the Caribbean ODIs, I can gather from this team’s philosophy of preparing players for multiple slots. So I feel for certain series that Shubman may need to land #3.”

He added that No. 3 is also a proper top-order slot and Gill will come early if a wicket falls early in the innings. Gandhi commented:

“He may have to get in as early as the second ball of the inning and that’s as good as opening batting. My guess is also that once Rahul has enough game time under his belt, he’ll be back batting in the middle order with Gill primed for the 2023 event.

While Rahul will lead the team against Zimbabwe, VVS Laxman has been appointed acting coach. Head coach Rahul Dravid will be with the first-choice team at the Asia Cup, which begins on August 27 in the United Arab Emirates.


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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert

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