Gurugram, Dec 5: Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh has backed talented Shubman Gill as a strong contender for the opening slot for Team India in ODI World Cup 2023, which will be held at home.
Yuvraj - who was the player of the tournament in the 2011 ODI World Cup which the Men In Blue lifted at home - believes the Punjab cricketer is destined for greatness and will serve Indian cricket for the next ten years. Gill - who was part of the second-string Indian side in New Zealand - was ignored for the ODI series in Bangladesh.
"I think Shubman is doing very well and is performing consistently. I believe he is a strong contender to open for India in the 2023 World Cup," Yuvraj replied to the media persons on the sidelines of the inauguration of the T20 World Cup for the visually impaired.
Yuvraj, who retired from all forms of the game in 2019, has been a mentor to some of the young cricketers from his state including Shubman. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, Shubman stayed with Yuvraj and trained under him alongside current Punjab skipper and Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder Abhishek Sharma.
"Shubman is very hardworking and is doing all the right things. I believe he is destined for greatness in the next 10 years," Yuvraj said. Yuvraj declined to comment on India's show in the T20 World Cup or the sacking of national selectors. On a different note, Yuvraj said that he is open to work as a sports/cricket administrator.
"I can't say what will happen in future but if I can help in the growth of sports in the country, I wouldn't mind. But it is not just cricket but I will like to help in the growth of sports in this country," said the hero of 2007 and 2011 global triumphs.
In the ongoing series against Bangladesh, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are opening the batting for India but the clamour for bringing in fresh blood at the top of the order has been increasing as the Men in Blue have been facing some flak for their conventional batting approach. Voices within the cricketing corridors are gaining strength that India must shun the defensive approach in the powerplays and look for scoring heavily.