The anticipation for the India-Pakistan clash in the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup is reaching a fever pitch, and India has received a significant boost ahead of this high-stakes encounter. Indian skipper Rohit Sharma revealed that star opener Shubman Gill is “99 percent” available for selection, relieving the team’s only concern heading into this blockbuster match.
Shubman Gill, a talented young batter, missed India’s opening two World Cup games against Australia and Afghanistan due to a bout of dengue fever. However, fans can breathe a sigh of relief as Gill was seen in an extensive net session in Ahmedabad, signaling his readiness to return to action.
Previously, Gill had tested positive for a viral infection upon the team’s arrival in Chennai for India’s World Cup opener against Australia. He was subsequently admitted to a local hospital due to a drop in his platelet count. Following his discharge, the BCCI ruled him out of the Afghanistan game, and he didn’t travel with the team.
In a positive development, Gill arrived in Ahmedabad and promptly headed to the Narendra Modi Stadium, where he engaged in rigorous practice. The Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) arranged a comprehensive session with six net bowlers and a throwdown specialist to support the star opener in his preparations.
The news of Gill’s improving health comes as a significant relief for Team India, especially considering his stellar form in ODIs this year. In 2023, Gill amassed an impressive 1230 runs at an average of 72.35, including five centuries and five fifties. His record in Ahmedabad is equally impressive, with 280 runs in five innings, featuring two centuries – one in T20Is and the other in Tests – both scored this year. Notably, while representing the Gujarat Titans in the IPL, Gill amassed 572 runs in Ahmedabad during the 2023 season, making him the highest scorer at a single venue in an IPL season in India.
With Gill’s impending return to the playing XI, India is likely to bench Ishan Kishan, who deputized in his absence. Kishan struggled in the initial matches, scoring just two runs against Australia and managing a run-a-ball 47 against Afghanistan. Gill’s return could provide the much-needed boost to India’s batting lineup in the crucial India-Pakistan encounter.