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IND vs AUS: Suspense Continues Over Shubman Gill Ahead of Team’s ODI World Cup Opener

The suspense over Shubman Gill playing the ODI World Cup 2023 match against Australia continues as skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday said that young Indian opener Shubman Gill is not 100 percent.

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: Oct 7, 2023 21:47 IST
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Shubman Gill in action (Pic credit: X)
Shubman Gill in action (Pic credit: X)

The suspense over Shubman Gill playing the ODI World Cup 2023 match against Australia continues as skipper Rohit Sharma on Saturday said that young Indian opener is not 100 percent fit but he refused to rule out the in-form batter from the mega clash between the hosts and Australia in Chennai.

Ahead of their campaigner opener against Australia, Indian had another practice session at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium but Gill, who is battling an illness, didn’t attend it for the third day on the trot.

However, India captain is not worried about the Gill situation and wants to give the youngster ample time to be fit for the clash on Sunday.

“Gill is not 100 percent, but he’s sick. So, there’s no injury concern. Gill is not feeling well. We are monitoring him on a daily basis. So, we’re going to give him every chance to recover and see how he feels. So, he’s not ruled out yet,” said Rohit at the pre-match press conference.

Who can open in absence of Gill

If Gill fails to recover on time for the game against Australia, Rohit is expected to open the Indian innings with wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan in Chennai.

Another wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul is also an opening option for India, who has done the same role in the past.

Read more: SA Vs SL: Records Fall As Aiden Markram Slams Fastest Century In ODI World Cup History

Bowling combination

Apart from the concern of Gill’s availability, India still have plenty of choices to make when deciding the combination of their bowling attack for their first match of the World Cup.

While Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav are likely locked down as starters in India’s XI, there are still multiple options.

At No.8, India can go with Shardul Thakur or Ravichandran Ashwin to keep the batting longer while not compromising on the bowling. On the other hand, Mohammed Shami’s inclusion would make the tail slightly longer.

However, Rohit hinted that India might consider going with three spinners in Chennai, stating that it was “definitely an option” given the conditions and India’s luxury of having an all-rounder of Hardik Pandya’s quality.

“I don’t really consider Hardik Pandya as just a seamer. He’s a proper fast bowler, who can crank up good speed,” Rohit said.

“So that gives us an advantage. That gives us that luxury of playing three spinners and three seamers as well you know so there’s a possibility that we can play three spinners on this pitch with three seamers as well, so it gives us that balance gives us that number eight batting option as well.

“We have to come here again tomorrow afternoon and see what the pitch looks like but yeah, three spinners is definitely an option,” he added.

Big day for Rohit Sharma

Rohit also hoped that India would get off to a winning start and it would be a special campaign for him as the captain of the side.

“It’s a huge honour to be part of this World Cup team, firstly, and then being the captain. The 50-over World Cup is the biggest sporting event in cricketing history. So, for me, this is the biggest event that I will be part of. And being the captain as well, yes, it’s a huge honour. I don’t know how to describe that because it’s a big deal for me,” the Indian captain said.

First published on: Oct 07, 2023 09:46 PM IST

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