Shubman Gill’s performance in the two warm-up games in the lead up to the four-match Test series against Australia has made him the frontrunner to partner Mayank Agarwal as India’s opener for the curtain raiser in Adelaide on Thursday. Gill not only outscored Prithvi Shaw – the other in contention to grab the opener’s slot – but also looked more assured and better equipped to handle the pace and bounce on offer on Australian tracks.
Legendary cricketers Suni Gavaskar and Allan Border too sang praises of the young right-hander and picked him as the other opener for India in the first Test along with Shaw.
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If Gill does make his Test debut in the historic pink ball Test match on December 17 then he will be up against his IPL teammate Pat Cummins, who is one of the most potent weapons of the Australia bowling unit.
Asked whether he had been studying him at the nets during the IPL, Cummins said he should’ve done that but now it’s probably too late.
“I haven’t really. Maybe I should have, might be too late now,” Cummins told kkr.in. “I think every time India comes to Australia, there is a story of one or two young guys who kind of make a name for themselves in our Aussie conditions.”
Cummins termed Gill a ‘class player’ but also did not forget to add about having a banter with him if the talented youngster gets picked for the first Test.
“Yeah Shubi (Shubman) is obviously a class player, and it will be interesting to see if he gets picked for India. (If he does) there might even be some friendly banter out on the field between the two of us.”
Cummins feels the series opener against India will test the tactical acumen of the captains as day-night matches move at a “slightly different pace” with the pink ball zipping around a bit more under lights.
Australia have won each of their four day-night Test matches so far against New Zealand, South Africa, England and Pakistan respectively.
India, on the other hand, have played just one pink ball Test, winning it convincingly against Bangladesh at Eden Gardens in November last year.
Cummins, who played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, said there is always a sense of excitement when they approach a pink ball Test.
“… we are just a little bit, won’t say nervous but excited, knowing that the game moves at a slightly different pace to a normal Test match. You can have some sessions under the lights where the balls just zip around,” Cummins told kkr.in.
“After dinner, when the light takes effect, just for whatever reason it seems like the ball zips around a bit more. “You can have some periods in a Test match a bit like a one-dayer, where the ball doesn’t swing, doesn’t seam and all of a sudden out of nowhere, it starts zipping around under the lights.
“It’s just another dynamic of the game. It’s a tactic that the captains have to manage — when to bat and when to bowl,” Cummins said.