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AB de Villiers explains how GT missed ‘fantastic opportunity’ by naming Gill as new skipper

AB de Villiers explains how GT missed ‘fantastic opportunity’ by naming Gill as new skipper

While AB de Villiers expressed his excitement to watch Shubman Gill lead the Gujarat Titans in IPL 2024, he suggests that it would have been better to groom Gill for leadership.

More than the trade deal of Hardik Pandya to Mumbai Indians, AB de Villiers is perplexed that Gujarat Titans named Shubman Gill as the captain rather than Kane Williamson. De Villiers feel that Williamson, who has a truckload of leadership experience with regards to captaincy, would have been a great choice as captain and allowed Gill to just play freely as the batter. However, GT took a huge punt and named the 25-year-old Indian opener as their new captain.

De Villiers thought by not naming Williamson as the captain, GT missed a golden opportunity ahead of the IPL 2024 season.

“The minute I saw Kane Williamson’s name as a retained player, I thought there was a fantastic opportunity to give an experienced player who has done it before an opportunity to captain for you. Give Shubman Gill the opportunity just to cement in all the formats in Indian cricket and just to have another good season at the IPL,” De Villiers said on his YouTube Channel.

For the uninitiated, Gill does not have prior experience of leading a IPL team. While he was always earmarked as a future leader in GT, even the 25-year-old would not have anticipated captaincy coming this early to him. Life is indeed moving in a fast lane for Gill, who just had a breakthrough season with bat in hand for India in 2023 across formats.

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Also, GT had Rashid Khan for captaincy as he was the incumbent vice-captain to Pandya for two years in GT. But, GT team director Vikram Solanki felt it was the right time for Gill to be given captaincy as he has been one of the leaders within the team group for two years.

Apart from AB, even cricket expert Harsha Bhogle felt giving away captaincy this early may not allow him to play freely, as he did during this IPL 2023 season. Gill topped the run-scoring charts, ending up with 890 runs. AB though is looking forward to seeing the way the young GT captain copes with captaincy pressure in this IPL season.

“They decided to throw him in as captain. It may pay off; I am not saying it is wrong. I am saying that it was a great opportunity for Shubman just to learn a little bit and know that the plan is for him to be captain in 2025. Nonetheless, I am excited to watch him perform and lead from the front,” the former RCB star added.

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