replacement for Pandya and Rahul: The selectors have named two uncapped cricketers to replace the suspended pair.
Indian selection committee has named opening batsman Shubman Gill and all-rounder Vijay Shankar as replacements for the suspended Indian duo of Hardik Pandya and Lokesh Rahul. Having named like-for-like replacements, the selectors haven’t disturbed the existing combination.
While Shankar will fly to Australia for the remaining two ODIs, Gill will directly join the team in New Zealand where India will play five ODIs and three T20Is.
Talking of Gill, the 19-year old right-hand batsman has received his maiden national call-up. He rose to fame after being declared the ‘Man of the Tournament’ in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup last year. His stellar form in the Ranji Trophy since then further raised his stakes for a national call-up.
Delighted to see Shubham Gill picked for India. At least something good came out of this Koffee with Karan mess.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) January 13, 2019
If the news that Shubman Gill is selected for India is true; it’s an excellent move. He is a special talent and it is prudent that he jumps the long queue of excellent young batsmen while he is in good form.
— ian bishop (@irbishi) January 12, 2019
In the ongoing season, Gill scored 728 runs in five matches at an average of 104 and a strike rate of 78.61. Two centuries and four half-centuries in nine innings seldom saw him not being among the runs. In his nine-match First-class career, Gill averages 77.78 and scores runs at a strike rate of 77.28.
Having earlier played the U-19 World Cup and been part of the India A squad which toured New Zealand last month, this will be Gill’s third trip to the country.
“Yes, I think that will be an advantage. I am familiar with the conditions because I have just travelled there [with the India A squad]. I also played the Under-19 World Cup there last year,” Gill was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo on his experience of playing in New Zealand.
Vijay Shankar joins team in Australia, Shubhman Gill will be added for the New Zealand leg, as replacements for Hardik Pandya and K L Rahul
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 13, 2019
Fantastic Decision to send Shubhman Gill as replacement along with vijay shankar…selectors have shown vision..Wanted to see Rishabh going back too…the guy who played so well in the test series…anyways this is also good now @indiatvnews
— Samip Rajguru (@samiprajguru) January 12, 2019
On the other hand, Shankar had made his T20I debut during the Nidahas Trophy last year. High on current form, Shankar was also part of the India A side which toured New Zealand in December, ending it as the highest run-scorer. In three matches, Shankar had scored 188 runs at an average of 94 and a strike rate of 105.02.
The 27-year old cricketer also bowl right-arm medium-fast, which adds more to him as a cricketer. After his return from New Zealand, Shankar scored three half-centuries in the Ranji Trophy.
With India losing the first ODI by 34 runs, they will have to win the remaining two ODIs in a bid to claim the ODI trophy as well. The second ODI will be played on Tuesday at Adelaide.