Is Shubman Gill the next Virat Kohli? Experts have their say

Gill’s current average in ODIs is 73.76 with four hundreds and recently he became the fastest Indian to reach 1,000 runs in the format, achieving the feat in 19 innings.

Shubman Gill T20I ton vs New Zealand
Shubman Gill celebrates his maiden T20I ton, against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Wednesday (February 1). Photo: BCCI

On February 1, Shubman Gill became only the fifth Indian batsman to score a century in all three formats of the game. His 126 not out off just 63 balls in the second T20I against New Zealand, set up India’s series win by a record margin of 168 runs in Ahmedabad.

This superlative knock by the 23-year-old is earning him plaudits from cricketers and fans. He is now being hailed as the next Virat Kohli and an all-format player.

Also read: Shubman Gill hits his maiden T20I ton

Gill’s talent was never in doubt but in the last few weeks, the right-hander from Punjab has making headlines with big scores as an opener.


Between January 15 and February 1, Gill has scored four centuries in seven innings across ODIs and T20Is including a double hundred in the 50-over format.

With this latest T20I ton, he joined Suresh Raina, KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli has the only Indians to have a triple-figure mark in all three formats. Also, his 126 not out is the highest individual score in T20Is by an Indian.

Also read: Shubman Gill hits 208; breaks Virat Kohli’s record in 1st ODI against NZ

Gill’s current average in ODIs is 73.76 with four hundreds and recently he became the fastest Indian to reach 1,000 runs in the format, achieving the feat in 19 innings.

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar has given Gill a new nickname – ‘Smoothman’.

India’s T20I captain Hardik Pandya, after batting with Gill in Ahmedabad, said he will achieve “greater heights” in his career.

“He will achieve greater heights in his career for sure because of not what he did today but because of his work ethic and the honesty towards his game,” Pandya told the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) website.

Also read: Sehwag says Gill has more skills than many great batsmen

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan said Gill has as much potential as Kohli and backed him as an all-format player.

“The way he is batting, I am a huge fan of his. I am repeatedly saying that he can become an all-format player for you. Virat Kohli ruled all formats for many years, this batter has as much potential. To convert that into performance is a different thing,” Pathan said on Star Sports.

“That happens with time but Shubman Gill has started to do that. He scored his first century in August. Gill has now scored a total of six centuries in international cricket and we have just started February, where all other players have scored just four international centuries,” he added.

Another ex-Indian cricketer – Wasim Jaffer too shared similar views.

“He has come of age… There was no denying the fact that he had conquered Test (cricket) a little bit, One-Day for sure. Today’s knock proves what a fantastic player India has found. He is a three-format player and after Virat Kohli he is the next big batter that’s going to come good,” Jaffer told ESPNCricinfo.

Gill has played 13 Tests, 21 ODIs and six T20Is for India so far. He made his international debut in 2019.

“I always wanted to play for India and being fortunate enough to play all the three formats, it is a blessing,” he said.

With India set to face Australia in a four-Test series at home from February 9, Gill is part of the squad for the first two matches. However, he is not a certainty to make the Playing XI with captain Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul being the openers.

There is a possibility that Gill may be slotted in the middle order with Shreyas Iyer still not fully recovered from his back injury.