Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram has paid a huge compliment to Shubman Gill, stating that bowling to him in T20s is similar to bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in ODI cricket with field restrictions in place.
Gill has been in superb form with the willow across formats over the last year. Recently, he finished as the highest run-getter in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023, amassing 890 runs in 17 matches at an average of 59.33, with three hundreds.
The 23-year-old had a big role in playing in Gujarat Titans (GT) finishing as runners-up in IPL 2023. Praising Gill, Akram compared his batting style to the legendary Tendulkar.
During a discussion on Sportskeeda, he opined:
“As a bowler, if I am bowling to Gill in the T20 format, it’s like bowling to Sachin Tendulkar in one-day cricket in the first 10 or 15 overs [with the field restrictions in place].”
“If I was bowling to [Sanath] Jayasuriya and [Romesh] Kaluwitharana, I know I have a chance of getting them out because they try to go after every ball. Players like Sachin and Gill play proper cricketing shots.”
Elaborating on why Gill is a special talent, Akram added:
“In the current generation, Gill is someone who will score in all three formats and consistently. He is a future superstar of world cricket.”
Having made his international debut in 2019, Gill has represented India in 15 Tests, 24 ODIs and six T20Is. The right-handed batter has scored 890 in Tests at an average of 34.23, with two hundreds and four fifties.
In ODIs, he has smashed 1311 runs at an average of 65.55, with four hundreds and five fifties. Speaking of T20Is, he has 202 runs at a strike rate of 165.57, with one century to his credit.
“I don’t know how the previous franchise released him” – Akram on KKR not retaining Gill
Before being picked by Gujarat Titans ahead of the IPL 2022 season, Gill was with the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). While he gave glimpses of his talent, the batter never quite flourished during his tenure with the Kolkata franchise.
Akram, however, expressed surprise over KKR’s decision to release Gill.
“His basics are right. I don’t know how the previous franchise released him, not realizing his potential and not realizing he can be the future captain, not just in franchise cricket; maybe eventually for India too,” he said.
“They did not realize that this guy is going to win them tournaments, not just games,” Akram added.
Gill represented KKR in 58 matches from 2018 to 2021, scoring 1417 runs at an average of 31.48 and a strike rate of 123.