World Cup

India vs England: Gautam Gambhir backs Shubman Gill to open alongside Rohit Sharma, but says youngster shouldn’t be too burdened

Gautam Gambhir weighed in on India’s opening pair ahead of the upcoming four-Test series against England on home soil, suggesting that Shubman Gill open the batting with Rohit Sharma.

Speaking on Star Sports show Game Plan, Gambhir felt that this decision was a no-brainer, but admitted that the 21-year-old must keep his head down.

“See, he should be opening with Rohit Sharma, no doubt about it, but let’s not jump the gun. You just can’t put someone really high up there. Yes, he’s got the talent, but he needs to keep his head down, because international cricket can be tough!,” Gambhir said.

After Prithvi Shaw failed to impress in the first Test against Australia in December last year, Gill eventually found his place in the playing XI for the remaining three Tests, making his Test debut in the Boxing Day match at Melbourne.

He scored 259 runs in the series, where he registered two fifties. He came close to his maiden Test century in Brisbane during the fourth Test earlier this month, but missed out, being dismissed for 91.

Shubman and Rohit opened the batting for India four times across the third and fourth Tests in Sydney and Brisbane respectively, and registered 50-plus stands on two occasions, both coming in Sydney.

Gambhir said that there should not be too much expectations from the U-19 World Cup-winning member.

“Playing in Australia, winning this series with a young side, you’ve done really well, you batted beautifully. No doubt about it, but let’s give him time as well and let him develop on its own, rather than putting too much of pressure and putting too much of expectations on him,” the 39-year-old added.

When asked if this was the pair that should open in all Tests, Gambhir simply replied, “100 percent!”.

The World Cup-winning player also urged the hosts to be at their best.

“England, coming after a successful series against Sri Lanka, it’s not going to be the same. Obviously, India’s a far better side than Sri Lanka, but then England is a quality side as well.

“So, India needs to be at its best, but at the same time, India will be high on confidence, especially after what they did in Australia was historic, but I am looking forward to this series,” the former Delhi cricketer said.

The England team, led by Joe Root, arrived in Chennai on Wednesday, and will quarantine for six days. The two teams will begin training from 2 February, with the first Test at Chepauk scheduled for 5 February. The newly-constructed Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad will host a Day-Night Test from 24 February, India’s second pink ball Test on home soil.

All in all, the two teams play four Tests, five T20Is and three ODIs.

Catch the 1st Test of England’s tour of India exclusively on Star Sports Network & Disney+ Hotstar VIP from 05th February 2020 at 8:30 AM.

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