IND vs NZ: “They Put Performances As The Main Criterion Over Everything Else And Brought Shubman Gill In”


Young Indian batter Shubman Gill has been in excellent form and has consistently performed well for the Men in Blue in limited opportunities. Gill almost sealed an opening slot in the team heading toward the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 at home. Pakistan wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal has hailed Team India’s decision to back Shubman Gill as Rohit Sharma’s opening partner in ODI cricket.

Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan played many memorable knocks together and helped India win matches, becoming India’s best opening pair in ODI cricket in the last decade. The 37-year-old has not scored a century in three years, and Gill’s form over the past 12 months has forced India to take the tough decision to drop him from the squad. Notably, Dhawan led the team in most of the ODI matches in 2022.

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Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan. (Photo: Twitter)

These Are Very Big Players – Kamran Akmal

Speaking to, Kamran Akmal said that team management recognized Shubman Gill’s talent and picked him ahead of senior opener Shikhar Dhawan in the 50-over format. Akmal stated that the selectors considered performances as the main criteria for selection in the team.

Kamran Akmal
Image Credits: Twitter

“Who would have thought that Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s Jodi (pairing) could be broken? Dhawan has around 20 ODI hundreds while Rohit has 30. These are very big players. Yet, they put performances as the main criterion over everything else and brought Gill in,” Kamran Akmal said.

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They Didn’t Remove Shikhar Dhawan All Of A Sudden – Kamran Akmal

The former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman stated that the team management gave Dhawan ample opportunities before dropping him from the squad and replacing him with Shubman Gill.

Shubman Gill Shikhar Dhawan
Shubman Gill Shikhar Dhawan. Image Credits: BCCI

“Look at Shubman Gill’s career progression till now. They didn’t remove Shikhar Dhawan all of a sudden. They gave him ample chances and when it didn’t work out, they knew they had a backup ready, who had done well in the limited opportunities that he has got,” he added.

Gill scored 1254 runs in 21 ODIs at an impressive average of 73.76 with a strike rate of 109.80, including four centuries, and five fifties. The right-handed batter recently scored a double hundred against New Zealand, becoming the fifth Indian to do so.

Also read: IND vs NZ: “Don’t Know Half The People In This Team; They Are No Longer The Powerful Team They Used To Be” – Aakash Chopra On New Zealand T20I Squad

Virat Kohli | Rohit Sharma | Rishabh Pant | KL Rahul | Suryakumar Yadav | Sanju Samson | Shreyas Iyer | Yuzvendra Chahal | Jasprit Bumrah

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