‘I am not so sure as yet’ - Sanjay Bangar opens up on Shubman Gill’s role as India opener in ODIs

Shubman Gill smashed 208 runs off 149 deliveries in the first ODI against New Zealand at Hyderabad.

Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan
Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Koustav Sengupta
Koustav Sengupta

Staff Writer

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Despite scoring a phenomenal double-century in the first ODI against New Zealand at Hyderabad, former India batting coach Sanjay Bangar believes that Shubman Gill hasn’t done enough to seal his berth as the other opener alongside Rohit Sharma in the One Day Internationals (ODIs). 

He believes that the Ranchi-born batter, Ishan Kishan, is still in the opening race as the southpaw too recently smashed a cracking double-century against Bangladesh in the third ODI of the series that was played in December 2022. He believes that the race is currently open but it has been narrowed down to the two young batters.

“I am not so sure as yet (Shubman confirming his spot in the playing XI) because obviously there is one batter (Ishan Kishan) who is a left-hander who has also done that feat not too long ago. Again very similar in the age group category, he is 24 and Shubman is 23,” Bangar said while talking to Star Sports.

“A great thing for Indian cricket because what it does actually is that it sort of narrows down your choices to maybe possibly now that out of those three, two will certainly open for the Indian team in the 50-over World Cup,” he added.

Sanjay Manjrekar agrees with Bangar, believes anything can happen leading to ODI World Cup

Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar concurred with Bangar’s views and believes that it’s too early to decide Gill’s fate as the ODI World Cup is still a few months away. He also believes that IPL can play a role in deciding India’s opening combination.

“I know where he (Bangar) is coming from because he is looking at finally the World Cup squad and there is a bit of time there. There is going to be an IPL before that, there are about 20 ODI matches before that, so who knows what can happen, he stated.

"Ishan Kishan was dropped after a double hundred, so things can happen, but slightly more optimistic about Shubman Gill being the opener,” Manjrekar concluded.

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