WTC Final, IND vs AUS: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli eager to help 'next big thing' Shubman Gill grow
Indian batting sensation and Gujarat Titians star Shubman Gill came into the WTC Final against Australia following a brilliant IPL season in which he topped the run table with 890 runs and three hundreds.
The "next big thing" in Indian cricket is Shubman Gill, and veteran batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli want to see the 23-year-old develop. Rohit, the captain of the national team, referred to Gill as the "next big thing" after the batting sensation enjoyed a dream run in various forms over the previous year.
"Shubman Gill has got so much potential. Without a doubt in my mind, the next big thing in Indian cricket," Rohit Sharma told the ICC on the sidelines of the World Test Championship (WTC) final against Australia at The Oval.
"He has got everything required to get success at this level. I just hope he continues this good run of form," the Indian skipper added.
If the captain was profuse in his praise, Kohli, a longtime teammate and Gill's idol, wants to mentor the young player with all the wisdom he has gained through his 15 years of premier cricket.
"What I know, he has told me that he has looked up to my career when I was coming up the ranks, he speaks to me a lot about the game and I am keen to help him grow," Kohli said.
Gill's cover drive has an uncanny resemblance with Kohli's execution of the cricketing shot and the former Indian skipper is fully aware. The "Viratians," as Kohli's supporters are known, refer to him as "King," and now Gill, the presumptive heir, is being referred to as "Prince."
"All these tags of King and Prince are great for the public but the job of any senior cricketer is to help any youngster groom youngsters and give them insight that you have experienced throughout your career so that they can manage their ups and downs. He is a lovely kid, he is playing amazingly well and I wish he continues that in this (ongoing Test match) as well," Kohli said.
Gill has five centuries across formats in 17 games for India in 2023, scoring 980 runs. The opening batsman for the Indian and Gujarat Titans is coming off a brilliant IPL season in which he topped the run table with 890 runs at 59.33 and three hundreds.
Rahul Dravid, the team's head coach, has known Gill since he was a young cricketer and is pleased with his advancement.
"I saw him during U-19 World Cup in 2018 and you could see he was earmarked to be a special player for India," Dravid said.
"He has come over really well in the last one year, he has been through ups and downs, been through injuries and in and out of team," Dravid noted.
"He (Gill) has always not been a certainty in Test or ODi side. He has come together beautifully in last 14-16 months where we are getting to see a great player and hopefully, Shubman will have many great years for India," the 'Wall' added.
Indian frontline pacer Mohammed Siraj described Gill as a superstar in the making and noted that the batter had lot of time before completing a swing.
"People hit bouncers towards square leg and he hits in front of wicket towards mid-on, he has plenty of time. When I saw him first, I knew he was a superstar in the making. We made our Test debut together and seeing him get so much success makes me very happy," Siraj added.