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Homecricket'Gill puts fear into Australia. Ishan has technical faults': Finch's brutal assessment...

‘Gill puts fear into Australia. Ishan has technical faults’: Finch’s brutal assessment as India handed fresh setback

Aaron Finch explains why Australia will breathe a bit easy bowling to Ishan Kishan with Shubman Gill all but ruled out of India’s World Cup opener.

The news of Shubman Gill‘s illness just two days before India’s World Cup opener against Australia has landed the management in fresh trouble. Gill has been India’s most successful ODI batter this year with over 1200 runs; however, his recent diagnosis with dengue makes it highly unlikely that Gill will be available for Sunday’s much-anticipated showdown against Australia. When considering Gill’s replacement, the answer is crystal clear. Ishan Kishan, who boasts the record for the fastest ODI double century, is the obvious choice. Nevertheless, despite having the talented left-hander alongside Rohit Sharma at the top of the order, India will undoubtedly feel the absence of their most in-form batter.

Former Australia captain Aaron Finch has weighed in on India’s latest setback, and believes that even though Rohit and Co. are well equipped with more than formidable reinforcements, Ishan cannot offer what Gill brings to the table. In the recently concluded series against Australia, which India won 2-1, Gill looked in fine nick scoring 168 runs, but his overall ODI record against the five-time champions is even better – 268 runs in 6 innings at an average of 44.67. This, as Finch reckons, will make a difference.

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“What’s going to stand out in this World Cup is the depth of these squads. Most teams are going with an idea what their ideal XI is but that doesn’t always go to plan. There are injuries, fatigue as it’s a long tournament. Still, India would be pretty comfortable. The difference will be the fear factor Shubman Gill puts into the Australian team,” Finch said while speaking to Star Sports before the start of the World Cup match between Pakistan and Netherlands in Hyderabad.

“He is someone who Australia at times really struggle to bowl to in any format because he has no weaknesses. He is somebody who can hit your best balls. He dominates spin, left-arm pacer, right-arm pace so I think that will be the only difference. Australia will be a little more comfortable bowling to Ishan Kishan in the Powerplay.”

Ishan is vulnerable the first 10-12 balls, says Finch

As far as Ishan goes, Finch has no doubts that Australia would open with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood against the left-hander. Ishan’s ODI record as opener is pretty impressive – 448 runs at an average of 74.7 and a strike rate of 125, but lately, he has flourished in the middle order with equal aplomb. He played a quality knock of 86 against Pakistan in the Asia Cup when India were four wickets down and put in the grind en rout to scoring 33 on a turner against Sri Lanka and Dunith Wellalage. However, with Gill sidelined, Ishan is set to be promoted, and Finch sees this as a golden opportunity for Australia.

“Starc and Hazelwood. I would go with that selection if I have to bowl to the left-hander. The outswing to Ishan because I still think he has a few technical faults he still hasn’t quite ironed out over the last while. His front foot closes up quite a bit so if he can swing it early, they can get him. Once he gets in, he moves beautifully. But just those initial balls though, he tends to get vulnerable,” added the former Australia captain.

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