CricketShubman Gill can break Kohli’s record for most runs in IPL season: Ravi Shastri
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Shubman Gill can break Kohli’s record for most runs in IPL season: Ravi Shastri

Former India coach Ravi Shastri predicted that Gujarat Titans opener Shubman Gill might surpass Virat Kohli’s mark of 973 runs scored in a single Indian Premier League season.

Kohli achieved the milestone in IPL 2016, where he slammed 973 runs at an average of 81.08. Gill completed 2,000 runs in IPL on Sunday. He accomplished this milestone during his side’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

In the match, Shubman played a handy knock of 39 runs in 31 balls. His knock consisted of five boundaries. His runs came at a strike rate of 125.81.

In his 77 matches in IPL career, which has seen him represent Gujarat and formerly Kolkata Knight Riders, Gill has scored 2,016 runs at an average of 32.52. He has scored his runs at a strike rate of 126.24. Fifteen half-centuries have come out of his bat in IPL with the best score of 96.

Gill’s best season came last year when he played a key role in Gujarat Titans’ triumph in their maiden IPL 2022 season. Last season, he scored 483 runs in 16 innings at an average of 34.50. He scored four half-centuries last season, with the best score of 96.

“If we look at what’s happened till now, then the two left-handers, Tilak Varma and Sudharshan, one is 20 years old, the other is 21, they have been a lot of fun to watch.

Because they seem to have a future, their temperament and maturity which we can see shows the potential they have to be good players,” Shastri told Star Sports.

Tilak Varma was the find of the season for Mumbai Indians in IPL 2022. He scored 397 runs in 14 matches at an average of over 36 and SR of over 131 with two fifties and the best score of 61. In the first game of IPL 2023, he scored an unbeaten 84* off 46 balls against RCB in a losing cause, carrying the entire MI batting line-up on his back.

In 37 T20s, he has scored 1,159 runs at an average of 38.63 with a strike rate of over 139.30. His best score in the format is 84*. He has 10 half-centuries in the format.

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan also gave his opinion on who has impressed him the most in the IPL 2023.

“One is definitely Tilak Varma, he has impressed us a lot. He batted well last year and has performed this year as well. Even his attitude is very good. He looks like he can be a leader in the future.

And the second is Jurel, the way Jurel has batted from his first innings, I couldn’t even imagine the quality of his shots under pressure. So that is one boy who has impressed, even though it’s still in the early stages, but these are promising signs.”

Shastri was asked what was special about Vijay Shankar that got him selected for the 2019 ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.

He said the player was picked up both for his bowling and batting abilities.

“In my opinion, the selectors thinking was such that, just like his innings that we have seen in this year’s IPL, that kind of innings plus his bowling is a big factor in his getting selected. When he got injured during the 2019 World Cup, he got a fracture on his toe and was out for a long time.

He has the talent, he has worked hard to get back to his best, and you know, at that time even Hardik was facing a lot of injury issues, so India was looking for a player who could replace Hardik and give at least two or three overs to the team and bat well, so it was always to keep Shankar ready in case Hardik got injured so that there was a quality replacement.”

Shastri also spoke on who may break Virat Kohli’s record for the most runs in a single season.

Shastri said it has to be an opening batsman, because only then will he get many opportunities to score runs.

“I feel it is Subhman Gill because he is in good form and also because he plays top of the order. So he will get a good number of opportunities to score runs. The pitches are good, so if he can score 80-100 runs consecutively in two or three innings, then at that point in time only he will already have 300-400 runs.

According to me, it is very difficult to break the record, because 900 plus runs is huge but one thing is opening batsmen will get two extra matches and two extra innings, so opening batsmen can only break this record if it is possible.”