Shubman Gill available for Punjab vs MP Ranji Trophy quarterfinal

Punjab will miss in-form seamer Arshdeep Singh, who was named in the Indian T20I side for the home series against South Africa.

FILE PHOTO: Shubman Gill did not feature in Punjab’s league stage matches earlier this year as the side proceeded to top the group with 16 points from three matches.   -  THE HINDU

Fresh from his successful outing for Gujarat Titans during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022 season, Shubman Gill is all set to turn up for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal against Madhya Pradesh in Bengaluru from Monday.

Surendra Bhave, coach of the Punjab senior side, confirmed Gill's availability for the crucial knockout match as the domestic red-ball cricket tournament returns after a two-month hiatus.

"Yes, Shubman is available for the quarterfinal against MP," Bhave told Sportstar on Friday. 

Gill did not feature in Punjab’s league stage matches earlier this year as the side proceeded to top the group with 16 points from three matches. Gill last played in a red-ball match in December 2021 for India during New Zealand’s three-Test series at home where he scored 144 runs in four innings.

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He subsequently missed India’s tour to South Africa with a shin injury. The 22-year-old, however, recorded his best IPL campaign with 483 runs from 16 matches and hit the winning runs for Titans in the final against Rajasthan Royals.

Punjab will miss in-form seamer Arshdeep Singh, who was named in the Indian T20I side for the home series against South Africa. Bhave did not divulge further details on Arshdeep’s replacement in the squad.

Both Punjab and Madhya Pradesh are yet to announce their complete touring party.

"I do not want to reveal further details about the squad as I am pretty sure Chandu (Chandrakant) Pandit (MP coach) would never reveal the squad either (laughs). These are all strategies and I would also like to keep the cards close to my chest," Bhave said.

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The match is set to take place at the KSCA Cricket (3) Ground in Alur, which will be hosting its maiden senior first-class match.

Punjab will head for its first practice session at the venue on Saturday. “I have coached there in the past. But not recently and not on the red-ball, so it’s difficult to determine how the pitch would play before having a look at the pitch tomorrow,” Bhave said when asked about the nature of the surface at the venue.  

Bhave was satisfied with the team’s practice sessions at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in the city. “The camp has been good. It’s all about making fine adjustments. We have had two good hits at the nets and things are looking alright,” Bhave said as Punjab eyes its first Ranji Trophy semifinal since the 2013/14 season.

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