Shubman Gill | Photo: BCCI / Twitter
Ranchi (Jharkhand): Prithvi Shaw will have to wait for his chance, according to India's stand-in captain Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill has performed admirably and will open the batting alongside Ishan Kishan in the first match of T20I series against New Zealand in Ranchi.
After clinching the ODI series against New Zealand by 3-0, India will play the Blackcaps in the three-match T20I series, beginning from Friday.
Team India's standout performer has been Shubman Gill for a long time. The right-handed batter has exceeded expectations by making the most of his opportunities. The 23-year-old batter has slammed three centuries in his last four ODI innings for Team India. Shubman scored a double hundred against New Zealand in Hyderabad in the first ODI.
"Prithvi Shaw will have to wait for his opportunity as Shubman Gill has done very well and was already part of the T20 team. Shubman will start because of the way he is batting" Hardik Pandya said in the pre-series press conference in Ranchi.
Shaw is one of the fine openers, but he will have to wait because of his exclusion from the national squad. The young hitter, despite a streak of encouraging domestic performances, fell out of favour and hasn't played for the Men in Blue since July 2021. However, it appears that Shaw will only have a chance if India rests on its star players after winning the series early.
Pandya who has been playing a vital role as an all-rounder for the Indian team said that he enjoys bowling with the new ball and does not feel pressure while bowling because of preparing well for the match.
"I always enjoyed bowling the new ball for quite a number of years. Now, whenever I pick a ball in the nets it's always a new ball. What happened in the last game where we had to rest our two main fast bowlers, I had to bowl with a new ball. It has never been a pressure... half of the time the pressure is not there if you prepare well," Pandya said.
Pandya will lead the side in the three-match T20I series with star batters Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Shreyas Iyer missing the T20I leg of the series. Prithvi Shaw was named in the T20I squad on the back of stunning performances in the Ranji trophy where he smashed 379 runs against Assam, the second-highest individual score in the history of the tournament.
The T20 series will commence on January 27 and will end on February 1.
India's squad for NZ T20Is: Hardik Pandya (C), Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Ishan Kishan (wk), R Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Y Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Shaw and Mukesh Kumar.