Two days before the ICC World Cup 2023 opener against five-time winners Australia, Team India was dealt a major blow when it was revealed that in-form opener Shubman Gill had tested positive for dengue. As a result, he is likely to miss the game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. Subhman Gill has reportedly been sick and afflicted with dengue illness. If the star batter is not present, India’s opening World Cup game against Australia on Sunday in Chennai might end in disaster. India recently defeated the five-time world champions at home, winning the series 2-1; yet, Subhman Gill absence from the opening game against such a strong team is a major blow.
For India this year, Subhman Gill has excelled in all formats. Subhman Gill has scored 1230 runs in 20 one-day internationals, the most by a hitter in 2023, with a brilliant average of 72.35 and five centuries. Along with half-centuries, this also features a fiery double century versus New Zealand. Even though India has replacements to step in for a sick Subhman Gill, the absence of the in-form opener for the match on Sunday is likely to cause unrest inside the Indian camp.
Gill has performed admirably for India this year in all forms. The most runs scored by a batsman in 2023, Gill scored 1230 runs in 20 one-day internationals, with a remarkable average of 72.35 and five centuries. This includes a scorching double century vs New Zealand in addition to half-centuries. The absence of the in-form opener for the match on Sunday is expected to generate disquiet inside the Indian camp, despite the fact that India has substitutes to step in for a sick Gill.
Notably, Gill was dropped from the Indian team before the third ODI match against Australia on September 27. Rohit Sharma announced that he would only be able to choose 13 players for the news conference since some players had already returned home and others were attending to personal concerns. With new information coming to light, Gill may very well fall into the latter category. The only noteworthy batter absent from India’s first practice session at the Chepauk on Thursday was the opener.
The first significant blow for India’s World Cup campaign comes from Gill’s sickness, which is added to the long list of difficulties the squad has faced in previous tournaments. The squad had to contend with two injuries during the 2019 World Cup, with then-captain Kohli having to deal with the loss of Shikhar Dhawan and Vijay Shankar at various points in the competition. Both Dhawan and Shankar, all-rounders for Tamil Nadu, suffered from left wrist fractures, which allowed Rishabh Pant to join the team.
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In addition to giving India a left-right combination at the top of the order—a tactic that seasoned players like Ravi Shastri have emphasized—this change would also place Ishan back in the spot from where he recorded the quickest ODI double-century ever against Bangladesh the previous year.
With 409 runs scored in 13 innings and four fifty-plus scores, Ishan has been in exceptional form this year. His ability to bat in a variety of places is seen in his standout performances. He opened the batting against the West Indies and amassed a hat-trick of half-centuries, scoring 52, 55, and 77. Later, his valiant 82-run innings while batting at No. 5 against Pakistan in India’s Asian Cup debut further demonstrated his versatility and batting power.
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