Bengaluru, July 19: India have little dearth of cricketing talents – be it in batting or bowling – but somehow, they fail to come up with solutions when it is needed the most.
The ongoing No. 4 conundrum that the side has faced seemed to have no answer, even with the World Cup approaching. India tried only one batsman in the months ahead of the big event which was Ambati Rayudu and then when he hit a dull phase, Virat Kohli’s men were clueless.
A couple of injuries during the mega event made things worse and India were left to fill up their middle order in as important a tournament like the World Cup with wicket-keeper-batsmen.
Now having seen the worst (losing the World Cup semi-final), India can only improve their position and there is no shortage of talents to build up a strong middle-order as one that had existed in the days of the Sachin Tendulkars and Rahul Dravids.
A crop of youngsters that have come up over the past many years can go on and serve Indian cricket for a long time. And one among them is Shubman Gill.
Shubman can adjust himself to batting positions and is also consistent
The 19-year-old Punjab lad caught all eyes after his remarkable Under-19 World Cup in early 2018 and he has impressed with his batting talent in both domestic cricket and the Indian Premier League. Some of his knocks after being sent up the order for Kolkata Knight Riders in this year’s IPL spoke volumes about Shubman’s capacity to adjust himself to positions in the batting order and that is indeed a big advantage.
Dav Whatmore, former international coach who has worked with a number of sides, has backed Shubman to the extent of being somebody who can resolve India’s No. 4 slot problem.
Whatmore felt India could not find a solution to their No.4 woes and one person who could do it for them is Shubman, thanks to his sound technique.
One of Shubman’s top features as a batsman is that he is consistent and someone batting at No. 4 needs the quality. The youngster is currently touring the West Indies with India 'A’ and hit two back-to-back half-centuries in the second and third ODIs.
Last month, too, he slammed an unbeaten century against Sri Lanka 'A’ at home to win the game by 10 wickets. He totalled 133 from four games at an average of 66 plus.
Shubman made his international debut against New Zealand in their den in January but played only two games in which he managed just 16 runs. He batted at No. 3 position in those games in the absence of captain Virat Kohli but the player has all the ingredients in him to become a top-class middle-order batsman if given the time and space.
Shubman is too precious a talent and India must make sure that it is utilised to the hilt.