Shubman Gill has batted at almost every position for Kolkata over the course of the last two Indian T20 League seasons. He is a natural top-order batsman but Kolkata have used his services even at No. 7 on multiple occasions during this period.
Batting out of position gets quite tough for players and more so for youngsters like Gill, as they have a lot to learn in terms of adapting to roles and situations. But Gill took to every responsibility that was entrusted upon him by Kolkata like fish to water.
In his first season with the Kolkata-based franchise, the youngster amassed 203 runs at an impressive average of 33.83 and equally good strike-rate of 146.04. These runs included a fifty as well and he performed so well despite getting hardly any chance to bat in the top-order.
But he was given more chances at the top in the last Indian T20 League season and Gill ended up making full use of it. He scored three fifties and amassed a total of 296 runs at an impressive average of 32.88 once again.
In Indian T20 League 2020, though, we can expect to see Gill batting in the top order for Kolkata throughout the season. The franchise already released two top-order batsmen -- Chris Lynn and Robin Uthappa -- during the auctions last year and that has opened the spot up for Gill.
The 21-year-old will most probably open the innings along with Sunil Narine or will bat at No. 3, in case Kolkata decide to pair either of Tom Banton or Rahul Tripathi along with Narine at the top.
Either way, Gill is going to enjoy the entire season in the top half of the Kolkata lineup. He scored close to 300 runs in the last Indian T20 League season despite floating up and down the order consistently. A stable batting position this time will only give Gill the freedom to express himself completely.
Gill has played a total of 37 T20 matches in his career so far and has batted in 34 of them. Out of those 34 innings, he has opened the innings on 16 occasions and his numbers in those 16 outings -- 514 runs at an average and strike-rate of 39.54 and 140.05 respectively -- are excellent.
That sums up how good a top-order batsman he is. In a team full of power hitters like Kolkata, Gill's primary role would be to anchor the innings all the way along with maintaining a swift scoring rate. He has already shown in the last two Indian T20 League editions that he is perfectly capable of doing that and will be eager to prove his mettle this time in the challenging conditions of UAE.
Feature image courtesy: Twitter.com /Kolkata