Shubman Gill couldn’t play against Australia in India’s first World Cup match, giving a big blow to Rohit Sharma and company. Gill underwent a positive test for dengue, and he missed the match at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
Captain Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid didn’t want to sideline him, but it was confirmed just moments before India’s first match against Australia in the World Cup that Shubman Gill has been ruled out from playing at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.
Earlier on Friday, news came that Shubman Gill was unwell and suffering from dengue fever. While Dravid and Rohit expressed their fingers crossed for shubman Gill’s recovery, the star batsman didn’t step onto the Chepauk ground with the team on Sunday. (India vs. Australia Live Score, World Cup 2023)
The exclusion of the star batsman could prove costly for India in the opening match of the World Cup campaign against Australia. India recently secured a 2-1 victory over the reigning World Champions in the five-match series on home turf. Still, shubman Gill’s absence in the first match against such a strong team is a significant setback.
Shubman Gill has been in outstanding form for India in all formats this year
In 20 ODIs, he has an impressive average of 72.35, scoring 1230 runs with five centuries, the highest by any batsman in 2023. This includes a fantastic double century and a half-century against New Zealand. While India has sufficient resources to replace the ailing shubman Gill, the absence of an in-form opening batsman for the Sunday’s clash could create a stir in the Indian camp.
Australia’s star “Touch-and-Go” for the crucial clash against India in the 2023 World Cup, facing a race against time. Considering that the usual recovery period for dengue fever is around seven days, and the illness can potentially take even longer if severe, Gill might also miss India’s second World Cup match against Afghanistan on October 11. Management will aim to ensure the star batsman’s full fitness for the crucial encounter against Pakistan, which will be held in his preferred venue, Ahmedabad, next Sunday.
It’s noteworthy that Gill was released from the Indian team before the third ODI against Australia on September 27. Before the press conference, Rohit Sharma mentioned that he had only 13 players to choose from as some players had returned home while others were engaged in different activities. Given the recent developments, Gill might be included in the squad later. In the first practice session in Chepauk on Thursday, the opening batsman was notably absent.
Shubman Gill’s illness is the first real setback for India’s World Cup campaign, which has been included in the list of challenges faced by the team in previous editions. In the 2019 World Cup, the team had to cope with injuries to Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar in different phases of the tournament, resulting in Rishabh Pant joining the team.
Who could be Rohit Sharma’s opening partner against Australia?
This step will not only provide India with a balanced left-right combination at the top but also align with a strategy favored by experienced individuals like Ravi Shastri. Moreover, it will bring Ishan back to a situation where he crafted his fastest ODI double century to date last year against Bangladesh. Ishan has been in splendid form this year, scoring 409 runs in 13 innings with four half-centuries. His versatile batting prowess is evident as he has delivered notable performances, including a hat-trick of fifties as an opening batsman against the West Indies and a brave innings of 82 runs against Pakistan in the inaugural match of the Asian Cup while batting at number 5.