India captain Hardik Pandya on Thursday said that Prithvi Shaw will have to wait for his opportunity as Shubman Gill has done very well and will start as an opener with Ishan Kishan in the first T20I of the three-match series against New Zealand, here.
After his impressive outings in domestic cricket, Shaw recently made a comeback to the national team. Known for his attacking approach, the right-hander batter is a compelling option for India.
However, Pandya, on the eve of the match said that Gill, who has been in sensational form in ODIs -- hitting three hundreds including a double ton in his last four innings -- will open the innings.
Having made his debut during the Sri Lanka series, the 23-year old Gill has just played three T20Is, scoring 58 runs with an strike rate of 131.81.
''Shubman has done well and will start the series. The way he is batting and was already part of the T20 team," said Hardik in the pre-match press-conference.
The star all-rounder also mentioned that he likes bowling with the new ball. With Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj being rested from the third ODI against New Zealand, Hardik opened the bowling for India on Tuesday.
Prior to the ODIs against the Black Caps, he had also bowled with the new ball during the Sri Lanka T20Is and had impressed everyone with his swing.
''I have always enjoyed bowling with the new ball. For quite a number of years whenever I bowl in the nets, I pick the new ball. I am used to the old ball so I don't feel the need to practice with the old ball as much. It has helped in match situations,'' Pandya said.
''With our two main bowlers rested in the last game, I had to be ready. But (it) has never been about pressure, half of the time pressure is gone if you prepare well,'' he added.
Asked about the inclusion of Jitesh Sharma in the squad, the skipper also said wicketkeeper Jitesh Sharma has been rewarded for his performances in the IPL.
"Jitesh has been rewarded for his performances. Unfortunately, Sanju Samson got injured and Jitesh got the opportunity," he said.
The 29-year old is also not taking the opponent lightly.
''Obviously we will try to win. New Zealand is a good team both in T20Is and ODIs. They always challenge you. We will have to be at their best to beat them,'' Hardik said.
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