Shubman Gill might bat at no. 3 against Zimbabwe: Former India selector

'Team's philosophy is to prepare players for multiple slots,' he added.

Shubman Gill
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Shubman Gill (Photo Source: Twitter/BCCI)

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Ex-Indian batter and former national selector Devang Gandhi reckons that Shubman Gill might be pushed to number three in the batting order in the upcoming India tour of Zimbabwe for three ODIs. Another former batter, Deep Dasgupta, agreed with Gandhi, adding that India’s current aim would be to give KL Rahul some time opening the innings, going into the Asia Cup 2022.

Gill had an impressive outing opening the batting during the West Indies tour in the ODIs, scoring 205 runs in three matches. Gandhi believes that Gill is groomed the right way by the Indian management, and feels that the team’s philosophy is to prepare the batters to be able to bat at multiple positions.

“I think Shubman is being groomed in the right way by the Indian team management,” Gandhi was quoted as saying in the Times of India. “While he has done exceedingly well in the Caribbean ODIs, what I can gauge from this team’s philosophy is to prepare players for multiple slots. Hence I feel for this particular series, Shubman might have to come in at No. 3.”

Shubman Gill is being groomed as opener for ODI World Cup: Deep Dasgupta

“He (Rahul) needs to get a lot of batting time and that’s a priority. I think it will be a short-term arrangement as Shubman I feel is being groomed as an opener for the ODI World Cup,” said Dasgupta, who is currently commentating in The Hundred. 

Gandhi was asked if it is unfair to not send in Gill as an opener, given that Rahul is seen as a middle-order batter in the 50-over format, with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma being India‘s first-choice openers. He answered, saying that once  Rahul has enough game time under his belt, he would be pushed to the middle order and Gill would be prepared for the ODI World Cup.

“Look, No.3 is a proper top-order slot. He might have to come in as early as the second ball of the innings and that is as good as opening the batting. Also my hunch is that once Rahul has enough game time under his belt, he will again bat middle-order with Gill being prepared for the 2023 event,” Gandhi said.