Cheteshwar Pujara has confirmed that Shubhman Gill will play in the first Test against New Zealand, beginning Thursday, November 25 at the Green Park Stadium, Kanpur. Pujara refused to reveal Gill's batting position, and lauded the youngster for playing good cricket since his debut.
After winning the three match T20I series against New Zealand 3-0, India are set to play a two-match Test series beginning Thursday, November 25 in Kanpur. The Indian squad for the Test series includes quite a few young guns, with senior players, including regular skipper Virat Kohli being rested.
Cheteshwar Pujara, the vice captain has confirmed that Shubman Gill will be a part of the playing XI for the first Test, but was reluctant to reveal his batting position. Gill had made his Test debut during India's historic 2-1 series win in Australia, and had last played in the World Test Championship final against the Blackcaps.
“Can’t reveal that at this stage. But see, he is a talented player and definitely he will be part of the team,” Pujara told reporters on Tuesday. “So someone like him, you know he doesn’t need to worry too much, he has been playing good cricket for a couple of years since he has made his debut. It was unfortunate that he missed out on England, but he is a talented player, and I don’t think personally I will need to tell him much.
Till date, Gill has scored 414 runs from eight Tests at an average of 31.84, which include three half-centuries. The right-hander also has an impressive record in first-class matches, with 2,684 runs from 31 matches at an average of 58.34.
Pujara further backed Gill to play his natural game in the series.
“Rahul bhai is there, he will give the best guidance. So I think he will just have to play his natural game. I can’t reveal the position he will bat at, but he is well prepared and I am sure he is looking forward to this series,” he said.
India's No.3 also looked forward to new head coach Rahul Dravid’s guidance, and added that the former India captain's experience will be beneficial for both junior and senior players within the squad.
“After the WTC finals, all of us were hurt knowing we lost in the final,” Pujara said. “But we came back strongly in England, we played pretty good cricket. Now team is back together, we are a confident unit, and yes we have new coach, Rahul bhai is there. So that will help most of the players, especially the young players who have worked with Rahul bhai during Under-19 and India ‘A’ series.”
“And even someone like us, who are experienced players, I have played with Rahul bhai, I have worked with Rahul bhai during the ‘A’ series. So yeah, all of us are looking forward to his guidance. With the amount of experience he has as a player and even as a coach, that will help the team.”