India vs Sri Lanka: Shubman Gill readies for first Test on home ground | Cricket News

CHANDIGARH: While all eyes will be on former skipper Virat Kohli turning out for his 100th Test when India take on Sri Lanka at Mohali, there’s another cricketer who will be hungry to take the ground on Friday. Local boy Shubman Gill, one of the architects of the historic win against Australia at the Gabba, is most likely to play his first Test in front of his home crowd.
Gill’s memorable 91 runs in the chase of the famous Brisbane Test, helped India breach the ‘Gabba’ fortress and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2021. That innings was like a trailer of a blockbuster career in the making. A product of India’s robust domestic set-up, Shubman gave glimpses of his batting prowess by tackling the fiery trio of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc with ease.
The Punjab youngster’s knock also sent out a message that the next generation of Indian cricket is ready to take forward the legacy of the stalwarts of the past decades.

Former India all-rounder Karsan Ghavri had once pointed out, “In the next decade or so, Shubman’s name should be right up there with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Virat Kohli. He has got everything in his armoury; confidence, the penchant for scoring big runs, and most importantly, consistency.”
Ghavri was one of the first to have spotted the pedigree of a 12-year-old Shubman during a pace bowling camp at the Punjab Cricket Association Stadium in 2011. Gharvi was so impressed by young Shubman, that he urged the cricketer’s dad (Lakhwinder Singh) to bring him to the nets during the entire duration of the camp.
“At 12 or 13, he had this fearless attitude, even while facing bowlers in the age group of 16 and 17. What I liked most about him was his ability to play straight down. No cross-batted slogging, he is blessed with a sound technique,” Gharvi remembered.

The thought of his son playing Test cricket in front of his home crowd is a matter of pride for Lakhwinder, who moved to Mohali – leaving a comfortable village life and farmlands in Fazilka – for his son’s career.
“It (Shubman playing in Mohali) will be a grand occasion, moreso with Kohli playing his 100th Test. It is always a special feeling when you get to play for the country on your home ground,” said Lakhwinder.
Gill could be tried at the No. 3 spot as Mayank Agarwal is expected to give company to skipper Rohit Sharma at the top. Primarily an opener, Shubman will lend solidity to the Indian middle-order in the wake of the major reshuffle following the axing of Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane.

By his own admission, Shubman feels the switch to the middle order is more about the mental approach rather than a switch in technique.
“I have opened for my state team and India A. I have batted in the middle-order as well. There is a little bit of tweaking when you play as an opener or you play as a middle-order batter. It is more on the mental side of the things rather than the technique,” the 22-year-old had said recently.

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