Irfan Pathan scored another century against India’s number one opener, Shubman Gill

Mumbai: Shubman Gill’s rich vein of form has prompted former Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan to announce him as India’s No.1 opener, sealing his place in the squad for the World Cup later this year.

Shubman Gill has been going through a purple patch with the bat and has posted many records in the past few months, becoming the fastest Indian to reach 1000 runs in ODIs.

On Tuesday, Punjab’s young opener brought up his fourth ODI century in the third and final match of the series against New Zealand at the Holkar Cricket Stadium as India beat New Zealand by 90 runs to sweep the three-match series.

Continuing his red-hot form, Gill scored 112 off just 78 balls, his second century of the series. Earlier in the series opener in Hyderabad, the opening batsman scored 208 runs to become the fifth Indian batsman to score an ODI double century.

The 23-year-old right-hander, born in Fazilka, Punjab, thus equaled the rare feat achieved by Pakistan’s Babar Azmar against the West Indies in 2016. In 2016, Babar Azam also scored 360 runs in the series against West Indies, recording three. Hundreds in three matches.

During the post-match discussion on Star Sports, Pathan was asked to analyze Gill’s recent form and prove whether he is the right choice as an opener.

“He’s definitely your number one opener. He’s definitely your future star and you’ve definitely got your opener from a World Cup perspective. In my opinion, he’s the biggest takeaway from this series,” he said.

Pathan claimed that Gill has convinced captain Rohit Sharma and the team management that he is the best option for them.

“Rohit got proof before the series. He said in the press conference that they have no doubt that Shubman Gill is their opener. Against Sri Lanka and here too, they said he is our future. Star and ODI opener,” he said.

Gill is the second Indian batsman after Ishan Kishan to score a double century in a month and is also a contender for the opening slot. But it seems the team management has put their faith in Gill over the Jharkhand wicket-keeper batsman for the Sri Lanka and New Zealand series.

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