ICC World Cup 2023 – Shubman Gill down with dengue, but not yet ruled out of India’s World Cup opener vs Australia

Shubman Gill is unwell, having tested positive for dengue, but hasn’t been ruled out* of India’s opening World Cup game against Australia in Chennai on Sunday as initially thought.
Addressing a press contingent two days out from the game, head coach Rahul Dravid said, “He [Gill] is certainly feeling better today than he was yesterday, so that’s a positive, but the medical team is monitoring him on a day-to-day basis, so we’ll see,” Dravid said. “We’ve got 36 hours to go, so we’ll see how that goes. We’ll see whatever decision they take. But yeah, he’s feeling a little bit better today than he was yesterday.”

Asked to confirm if Gill would or wouldn’t play the game, Dravid said, “The medical team hasn’t ruled him out as yet. We’ll keep monitoring on a day-to-day basis. We’ve got 36 hours. We’ll wait to take a decision at the last minute we possibly can. We’ll see how he feels day after tomorrow.”

In case Gill isn’t fit in time, Ishan Kishan is likely to open the innings with captain Rohit Sharma. Another option is KL Rahul.

Gill, who did not attend India’s training sessions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Wednesday and Thursday, is the leading run-getter in ODIs this year with 1230 runs at an average of 72.35 and a strike rate of 105.03. In his last four ODIs, he has hit two centuries and a half-century, two of those knocks coming against Sunday’s opponents, Australia.

Kishan has three half-centuries in five ODIs as an opener this year, to go with an impressive 82 against Pakistan from No. 5. Rahul, who made a comeback from injury during the Asia Cup, last opened in an ODI in August 2022, against Zimbabwe. Overall, he has opened 23 times in ODIs, scoring 915 runs at an average of 43.57.

* The article was updated at 1.45pm GMT on October 6, 2023 following Rahul Dravid’s press conference.

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