Shubman Gill has the qualities to be the Gujarat Titans (GT) captain, declares Director of Cricket Vikram Solanki. While Hardik Pandya led the franchise to their maiden title last year, Gill through his attitude and conduct has made himself a candidate, feels the former England international.
Gill has had a stellar 2023 so far in which he has already scored an One-Day International (ODI) double hundred, a T20 International (T20I) century and also a Test ton, thereby cementing his place in the Indian line-up across formats.
Gill finished as GT's second highest run-getter in IPL 2022, which saw him finish with 483 runs at a strike-rate of 132.32 in 16 innings that included four fifties.
“Shubman is a leader in his own right for the simple fact that he takes on a lot of responsibility. In my mind, it is not important that you play with an asterisk next to a player’s name," Solanki said during a virtual media interaction.
“Shubman adapted the leadership role last year, by his conduct, by the way he goes about, with his professional attitude towards the game. Do I think that Shubman will be a leader in the future? Yes absolutely, but no decision has been made about that as yet. He has leadership qualities and is very mature who has an abundant amount of talent.
“He has a very smart cricketing brain and we will continue to have conversations with Shubman and invite his opinion on every decision we make," Solanki added.
Sharing his thoughts on the new rule that allows the XI to be named after the toss, Solanki said, “We will just have to wait and see. It is going to be an interesting change to the dynamics, it might bring [forth] some tactical decisions to be made. But essentially the way we are looking at it at the moment is that you can name your eleven or a bigger squad of 15 after the toss and that has a different bearing on it."
“Initially we are starting to have discussions around it but it will bring an interesting dynamic to the IPL this year. It will be interesting to see how different teams adapt to the rule."
With a lot of talk over workload management, the BCCI are expected to keep a close eye on GT pacer Mohammed Shami during the tournament. Solanki says he is one of the players who they will closely monitor.
“He [Shami] was quite outstanding for us last year. You just have to wait and see what the situation is, we have to be respectful of the fact that fast bowling is a very demanding job," Solanki said.
“He is coming off a lot of cricket, we got to make sure we do the best for Mohammad Shami so that he can, in turn, do the best for Gujarat Titans. He will be one of those players we will monitor carefully with every preparation, every resource so that he is in best possible place for every game."
GT will kickstart the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023 against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Friday (March 31) in Ahmedabad.