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IPL 2024: Will captaincy duties at Gujarat Titans hurt Shubman Gill's batting capabilities?

IPL 2024: Shubman Gill is all set of make his captaincy debut for Gujarat Titans. Should Gujarat Titans have delayed it with Kane Williamson in squad?


IPL 2022, GT vs DC, Top Performances_ Shubman Gill's 84 runs help Gujarat beat Delhi  Capitals _ Walking Wicket (Images ©BCCI_IPL)
Shubman Gill to captain GT in IPL 2024 (Images ©BCCI/IPL)

Long before IPL 2024 kicks off, it has already been making headlines with some surprising trade-offs and releases ahead of the mini-auction. Hardik Pandya, who captained Gujarat Titans to the 2022 IPL crown in the team’s maiden season, has been traded to his old team Mumbai Indians, while Shubman Gill has been appointed as the new captain of Titans.


The decision to hand 24-year-old Gill the IPL captaincy has sparked discussions on whether it is too early, especially when he is finding his batting groove across all formats, including the IPL. Will the captaincy responsibility burden him and affect his batting? Let's examine Gill’s performance with Gujarat Titans in the last two IPL seasons.

During Gujarat Titans’ successful IPL season in 2022, Gill emerged as the highest run-scorer for his team and the fifth-highest run-getter in the tournament overall. In the next season where the Titans ended as runners-up, Gill again topped the run charts, finishing as the second-highest run-getter in the history of IPL.



Gill’s record for Gujarat Titans in IPL

Matches

Runs

Avergae

Strike Rate

50s/100s

IPL 2022

16

483

34.5

132.32

4/0

IPL 2023

17

890

59.33

157.8

4/3

Challenges for Gill and Potential Impact on the Team

Gill’s batting prowess has been crucial to Gujarat Titans’ success in the last two IPL seasons. However, in IPL 2024, Gill faces the dual responsibility of opening the batting and leading the team. The question arises: will he be able to balance these twin responsibilities effectively?


At 24, Shubman Gill is the same age as Virat Kohli when he took over the captaincy of Royal Challengers Bangalore. Unlike Kohli, Gill has to live up to the expectations set by the team's successful past two seasons. The additional responsibility of captaincy, coupled with the pressure to replicate the team's previous performances, may pose a challenge to Gill’s batting form and the team’s overall success.



Considerations for Gujarat Titans and alternative strategies

While Gill has experience leading in domestic cricket, captaining in a high-pressure tournament like the IPL could be a different ball game altogether. Managing top international stars and young India rookies, all while ensuring his batting performance remains top-notch, could be overwhelming for the rising star of Indian cricket.


Considering the circumstances, Gujarat Titans could have opted for a different strategy. Although they couldn't prevent Pandya from moving to his old franchise, they could have chosen an experienced captain like Kane Williamson, making Gill his deputy to learn the nuances of captaincy. Williamson, known for his exceptional leadership with the New Zealand team and previous IPL captaincy with Sunrisers Hyderabad, could have provided a calm and experienced mentorship for Gill. Once groomed under Williamson's guidance, Gill could then be handed the full leadership of the team.


Nevertheless, the decision has been made, and Gill is thrust into a leadership role from the start, learning on the job. The upcoming IPL journey in 2024 will either see Gill triumph with this added responsibility or witness him evolving into a better batsman and captain.


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