The Indian cricket selectors gave enough hint on Sunday that they were looking forward to a smooth transition in the days ahead. After India’s exit from the World Cup in the semi-finals, a number of heads came under scrutiny and from the squads they selected for the upcoming West Indies tour, the selectors proved that they are indeed thinking about the future that can be made out of the youngsters.
However, while the selectors picked quite a few new faces, they did not care to include Shubman Gill into any of the three squads. The 19-year-old Punjab batsman made his name after bagging the man of the tournament award in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand early last year.
He then made an impressive debut in the Indian Premier League and is one of the most consistent batsmen in domestic cricket. Gill was also given a chance to make his international debut in New Zealand earlier this year as a replacement player for KL Rahul but he couldn’t make those occasions memorable enough. And now, he has failed to make it to the squad for the West Indies tour.
Chief selector MSK Prasad said on Sunday after unveiling the squads that Shubman will have to wait for his turn. It was found to be surprising for many since India are struggling with their No.4 batsman in limited-over series and it cost them in the World Cup as well when they were left to fill up their middle order with wicket-keeper-batsmen. Former international coach Dav Whatmore also said recently that India should try Shubman as their solution for the No.4 conundrum.
Shubman slams 69 off 40 balls
But Shubman, who is currently touring the West Indies with India A side, did not allow the disappointment to impact him. On Sunday, he slammed 69 off only 40 balls against the Caribbean Colts at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, to help his side pick an 8-wicket win over the home team. This win saw India A registering a 4-1 win in the five-match series. For Shubman, it was a special series as he hit three consecutive fifties in the four games that he played. Shubman didn’t play the fourth match of the series on Friday and India A lost by five runs.
Shubman’s breezy knock on Sunday that included eight fours and three sixes came hours after the Indian squads were announced and it might have spoken a thousand words. Shubman is considered the next big thing in Indian cricket and the teenager has given enough hints that he has it in him to scale the heights. Shubman has played in only nine first-class games so far and he averages over 77.
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