Shubman Gill said he could not believe he had been called up for the national team. The pundits and former players who have seen him play were thrilled to see him take the decisive leap.
The chief selector, however, took a more measured approach. According to him, the young man is ready for international cricket and he had consulted Rahul Dravid before taking the decision. He views the young man as the reserve opener in New Zealand. If we scratch the surface, this could well be a message to KL Rahul and Murali Vijay, both of whom failed in Australia.
"Shubman is comfortable both opening the innings as well as playing in the middle-order. For New Zealand series, we are looking at him as the reserve opener behind Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma). I won't comment if he will make it to World Cup but he was phenomenal as an opener for India A in New Zealand," MSK Prasad was as quoted by PTI.
Rahul, who is currently stopped from playing in the wake of his Koffee with Karan episode, had a miserable run against Australia. Mayank Agarwal, who replaced him in Melbourne, looked far more assured and with Prithvi Shaw becoming fit for New Zealand, this could well be the end as far as Rahul's opening stint is concerned, at least for the near future.
Ready for international cricket
"We have discussed with Rahul (Dravid), that Shubman is ready for international cricket. The best part is the clutch of A tours which has made all these players battle ready for the biggest challenge," Prasad added.
The chief selector also revealed that he speaks with the team management about the growth of different players and the progress of Hanuma Vihari, Mayank Agarwal and the like have really pleased him.
"I regularly discuss the progress of the players with Ravi and Rahul. Have a look at how we have planned a player's progression from Ranji Trophy, A team to senior team. Look at Hanuma Vihari and Mayank Agarwal. They don't look intimidated when thrown into the deep end of the pool," Prasad added.