'Would be unfair to compare him to Sachin and Virat so early' - Gujarat Titans mentor Gary Kirsten on Shubman Gill's comparison to India greats

3 months ago 181

Team India's star opener Shubman Gill produced standout display in the recently concluded edition of the Indian Premier League. Gill amassed 890 runs, featuring three hundreds, and made a big impact for the Gujarat Titans in the playoff round of the competition.

Fans and veteran cricket players were abuzz regarding his potential after the 23-year-old opener's explosive century against the Mumbai Indians (129 off 60 balls) in Qualifier 2.

Gill finished with the second-most number of runs scored in an IPL season, just behind Virat Kohli's 973 that came in the 2016 season, and he was given the Most Valuable Player award following the tournament's conclusion.

Gill's emergence in T20s remained one of the primary talking points of the 2023 edition of IPL, despite Titans' defeat to Chennai Super Kings in the summit clash. He won the Orange Cap for his astonishing season with the bat, scoring 890 runs at an average of 59.33 and a strike rate of 157.80 in 17 matches.

Gujarat Titans and former India coach, Gary Kirsten who has worked with some of India's batting greats Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli among others affirmed that it would be “unfair” to keep Gill on the same level as the other two, while acknowledging that the opener certainly has the ability to become an efficient all-format player. He remarked that Gill is one of the few cricketers in the world who can modify his style to fit all three game forms.

“He is a young player who has incredible skill and determination to be one of the best players in the world. It would be unfair to compare him to Sachin and Virat so early in his journey. I believe he has the game to successfully play across all three formats for India. You don't often see that, these days, particularly as T20 cricket is developing and progressing so fast,” Gary Kirsten told on Cricbuzz.

 I would encourage him to keep learning: Kirsten

Kirsten believes that the key to Gill's 'long-term success' as a player will be determined by how he takes on the challenges and obstacles that come his way going forward.

“Shubman has all the credentials to become a great player for India, across all the formats. Like any player he will be met with challenges and obstacles; how he handles those and keeps progressing will ultimately determine his long-term success. I would encourage him to keep learning and to engage with those who can offer him trusted counsel,” he added further.

India will be hopeful of Gill continuing his impeccable form in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at The Oval, starting June 7.

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