Shubman Gill & Vijay Replaces Pandya, KL Rahul for AUS, NZ Series

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Image Source: The Hindu

19-year-old opening batsman Shubman Gill and Tamil Nadu all-rounder Vijay Shankar have replaced Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul for the remainder of the Australia and New Zealand series. Pandya and Rahul were suspended from the tour over their ‘inappropriate’ comments on Karan Johar’s talk show ‘Koffee with Karan’.

Vijay Shankar will be the lone replacement for the remaining 2 matches against Australia while Shubman Gill is set to join the team against New Zealand.

The rise of Shubhman Gill in Indian Cricket Team

Gill is considered the next big thing in Indian cricket. People have already started to draw comparisons between him and the Indian Captain Virat Kohli. Gill was a part of the India U-19 team that won the World Cup 2018. He scored 418 runs at an average of 104.50 including a 102* against Pakistan in the semifinals. He was also adjudged the ‘Player of the tournament’.

The right-hander plays for Punjab in the domestic circuit. In the latest Ranji Trophy season, he scored 790 runs in 10 matches at an average of 98.75. In the Indian Premier League, he was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 for Rs. 1.8 Crore. He was named as the ‘Rising Star’ by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which speaks volumes about his ability.

After hearing the news of his inclusion in the squad, Shubhman told PTI, “It is a big advantage (to be picked for the New Zealand tour). I played well there in the U-19 World Cup and now again I have got the opportunity.”

“As I have done well there, I can say that there isn’t much adjustment needed in the technique. If I get an opportunity, I will have just need to handle the pressure that comes with playing for India. Mentally, it will be different for sure but I am ready.”

He added, “The call was unexpected but I understand the circumstances in which I have been picked. I have a pretty set target in mind. I have done well at all the levels I have played in so far and that has given me the belief that I can also excel in international cricket.”

“We shifted to Mohali in April 2007 to support Shubman’s cricketing career. He started playing when he was not even four and as his interest grew in the sport, we wanted to support him in whatever way we could. Shubman joined Mohali Cricket Association (MCA) academy near I S Bindra PCA Stadium and today’s selection is the reward for all the hard work. He woke me and my wife up last night and gave the news about his selection. We are thankful to God for making this happen,” his father Lakhwinder Singh was quoted as saying by Indian Express, reacting to the news of his son’s selection.

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