Shubman Gill: The face of modern age Indian cricket 

image-l75xeraxShubman Gill during the U-19 World Cup 2018

A star unearthed 

It was 2017, cricket fanatics were unaware and unbothered by the storm that had hit Indian cricket. The storm was a young batter named Shubman Gill, introduced to the world as a fresh face in the India U-19 squad, enveloped by innocence and youth but filled with aggression and intent. 

Quickly recognised for his potential, Gill was made the vice-captain of the India U-19 squad for the World Cup. He starkly proceeded to lead the team to their fourth title win, owning the World Cup stage with his belligerence and resolution. 

He ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer for India, he was named the 'Player of the Tournament' and later labeled as the 'Rising star of the Squad'  by the ICC.  

The transition 

In January 2019, a starry eyed 19 year-old enters the international stage, bringing a credible age-long question back onto the table, will Shubman Gill be able to take on the pressures of international cricket? or will he slowly join the pile of cricketers that failed to transition into successful players once they entered the international stage?

image-l75yj7yyGill 204* (279) for India A

But Gill started gaining traction, living up to the reputation that he had built for himself in domestic and India U-19 cricket. 

In August 2019, the right-handed batter became the youngest Indian to score a double century in a first-class match against West Indies A. 

In the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League, Gill managed to get all eyes on himself once again. He was included in one of the eight 'Players to watch out for'  by the ICC and went on to be awarded the 'Emerging Player of the Tournament'  in IPL 2019. 

Can Gill be the torch bearer of Virat Kohli's success?

image-l75zeey8Virat Kohli and Shubman Gill

The Punjab-born batter, in some ways, has been replicating Virat Kohli's path to success. The two started their journeys as India U-19 leaders, saw early success and were one of the youngest captains ever in the Deodhar Trophy. 

In the current Indian pool of talent, it is safe to say that Shubman Gill is one of the most promising prospects. Someone who can be the torch bearer to Virat Kohli's success. 

"I was not even 10% as good as he is at this age" - Virat Kohli 

Comparing Kohli and Gill's journeys, it is clear that the two are masters of the ODI format early in their career, not to mention uber popular and loved by the crowds. 

Is Gill the future of Indian opening?

Gill displayed a firework, fairytale sort of innings against Zimbabwe. Scoring his maiden international hundred at 22. Leading the batting attack, Gill was nothing short of extraordinary in the ODI series. While the Indian batting lineup toppled from the other end, Gill stood tall and did what he does best: score big runs. Shubman Gill scored an unbeaten 130* off 97 balls while the rest of the batting lineup scored a total of 149 runs. 

image-l75zof5iShubman Gill raises his bat after a maiden ton

Owing to his stellar performances at the top of the Indian batting lineup it is not wrong to speculate that India may just have found its next permanent opener. 

Word suggests that veterans Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will lead the Indian batting lineup at the 2022 Asia Cup, but will Gill's continued consistency topple one of the inconsistent regular openers of the team?

Just the beginning

Whatever may be the conclusion to the question, Gill is certainly the face of modern age Indian cricket, the perfect weave of aggression and patience, intent and presence, roof shattering confidence and humility.

Gill has set his foot on a track that cricketers only dream of. Alas, this is just the beginning. 

Also Read: Gill likely to lead India A against New Zealand A