‘Shubman Gill has got a bit of attitude…’: Ricky Ponting on India star before WTC final vs Australia
Ricky Ponting, who has seen Gill from close quarters for the last few seasons of the IPL, believes Gill will be an important factor for India in the WTC final.
Shubman Gill was not even 22 when he opened the batting for India in the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June 2021. Against a potent new-ball attack of Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, he did put up a good show after Kane Williamson sent India in. But when it was essential for him to carry on and build on to that start, he was dismissed for 28. Converting his starts into something substantial has always been a challenge for Gill in his short career but in the last six months or so, he has shown great signs of improving on that very aspect.
Centuries in all three formats including a world record double hundred in ODIs, three hundreds in IPL 2023 to go with the second-most runs (890) in a single edition of the tournament are a testimony to that fact. No wonder, the expectation from Gill will be a lot more when India get another crack at winning the WTC. This time, they will face Australia in the final starting June 7 at The Oval in England.
Gill is certain to open the batting with captain Rohit Sharma in the WTC final. India's batting line-up will mostly stay the same from the last edition's summit clash but the responsibility on Gill's shoulders will be a lot more to tackle the likes of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.
‘Gill's front foot pull to be crucial against Aussie pacer’: Ponting
Legendary Australia cricketer Ricky Ponting, who has seen Gill from close quarters for the last few seasons of the IPL as the coach of the Delhi Capitals, believes Gill will be an important factor in the WTC final.
“He looks like a terrific young guy,” Ponting told ICC. “He's got that bit of attitude about him as well. He's got a bit of swagger. He has some serious class.
The two-time World Cup-winning captain said Gill's potent short-arm pull shot off the front foot can give something to think about to the Aussie quicks.
“That sort of front foot pull shot that he plays against the fast bowlers will be a shot that he'll probably need against this Australian attack," the former Australia skipper said.
The right-hander has had his first training session with the Indian cricketers on Thursday. He, Mohammed Shami, and Ravindra Jadeja joined the team late as they were a part of the IPL 2023 final.
Gill's mind-boggling season with the bat could not take defending champions Gujarat Titans to their second successive title but he will be hoping to win his first major trophy in Indian colours next week.