India v Australia - 4th Test: Day 3
AHMEDABAD, INDIA - MARCH 11: Shubman Gill of India celebrates after scoring his century during day three of the Fourth Test match in the series between India and Australia at Narendra Modi Stadium on March 11, 2023 in Ahmedabad, India. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
India v Australia - 4th Test: Day 3

India has consistently produced sensational batsmen for over 8 decades now.

Lala Amarnath, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Virat Kohli are a few examples of names synonymous with cricket's batting aristocracy. However, experts say that we're at the dawn of another prospect, Shubman Gill.

Hailing from a farming family in a village in Punjab, Gill was heavily supported in his early days by his father, Lakhwinder Singh who once dreamed of becoming a cricketer.

Singh created a pitch on his farm and challenged other kids in his village for 100 rupees to try and get his son out. Singh then moved to Mohali to provide Gill with better opportunities enrolling him in the Punjab Cricket Association Academy.

Gill had a remarkable start to his junior career smashing a double-century in his Under-16 debut for his state team, including a 587-run opening stand later on in the same season. Gill then went on to become vice-captain of the Under-19 Indian team at the world cup in New Zealand, where he scored 372 runs and was awarded the player of the tournament.

Gill then in the following years went on to put in consistent performances in the domestic circuit scoring his 1000th run in first-class cricket in just his fifteenth innings. In the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy, Gill racked up 728 runs in 5 matches, making it next to impossible for the Indian selectors to overlook him.

The elegant right-hander was then eventually called up to the Indian squad for the ODI series against New Zealand, making his debut in the 4th ODI of that series. Later on that year, Gill smashed a double century against West Indies A, leading to a call-up to the test squad for a home series against South Africa, where he, unfortunately, did not feature.

Gill however kept scoring runs in domestic competitions and the Indian Premier League and finally made his test debut against Australia in December 2020, helping India win the second test. He went on to score 91 in the fourth test to help the visitors seal the series at the Gabba.

The last seven months saw instrumental performances from the opener, scoring his first ODI century in August 2022 in Harare. 3 months later, Gill smashed his first test ton against Bangladesh.

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The turn of the year saw Gill score a sublime double-century against New Zealand, becoming the youngest cricketer to ever do so, in an inning that saw 19 boundaries and nine sixes. Three weeks later Gill smoked the Kiwi attack all around the park to score his maiden T20i century and become the 5th Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats. One might overlook this achievement not realizing how immense it is, it took Virat Kohli 14 years to achieve this feat, Shubman did it before his 24th birthday.

Gill is an exceptional talent, who is an absolute textbook batsman who hits every shot with pure elegance. Gill possesses the technique, timing, and ability to accelerate the innings when needed and slots right into the void of India lacking an opening compatriot to skipper Rohit Sharma. At the young age of 23, Gill has his time on his hands and multiple records capable of being broken with the pace he's going at. Gill has vocalized his efforts to improve his incredible growth as a batsman after making his comeback after injury, with much improved mental maturity and free-flowing run-making ability.

"I felt that when I was getting set, I was getting over-defensive, I was getting too cautious, thinking 'I'm now set, I have to convert this [into a big one],' and putting myself under a lot of pressure. That's not my game. Once I'm set, I get into a rhythm, and that's my game.
"It was about understanding that I was fine if I got out playing my way rather than playing in a way that wasn't mine. I was getting set and getting out defending. I felt that I'd accept it if I was set and got out playing a shot - I'd know it was a shot I play well, and that I didn't execute it - but I got caught up trying to adapt my game into something it wasn't, and that wasn't acceptable. This is what I told myself again and again, that if I got another opportunity, I'd not put pressure on myself to convert when I got set, but remain free-flowing. It was more mental, and that's what I mostly focused on."

Gill's time is now and definitely for the foreseeable future, not just as a prospect for Indian cricket for years to come but for serving as an inspiration to every cricketer willing to work on their game and understand that there is always room for improvement.
The graceful Indian opener will look to capitalize on a new-look Australian squad and continue his fine form to help India emerge victorious in the 3 match ODI series commencing today at 19:00 AEST.