'That combination works well' - Shubman Gill opens up on partnership with Rohit Sharma

India's prodigious young talent explained why his top-order pairing with the experienced batting great has worked in ODIs. 

Shubman Gill explained why his opening partnership with skipper Rohit Sharma has been an instant and substantial success for India. The rising young batting prodigy says his pairing with the Indian great works as they complement each other superbly, offering contrasting strengths to the team and making the opposition's life extremely difficult in the middle. 

Speaking ahead of the Asia Cup 2023, Gill pointed out how the unique range as batters and response to particular lengths make them a truly impactful pair. While the two right-handers are both high-class players of pace and bounce, particularly off the shorter lengths, Gill tends to hit more balls along the turf even as his experienced partner likes to hit more shots in the air. 

Of the nine innings they've batted together at the top in ODIs, Rohit and Gill have compiled a massive 685 runs with an average of 76.11. Facing attacks from Sri Lanka, New Zealand and Australia at home earlier in the year, they respectively averaged 46.37 and 78 and carried strike-rates of 108.47 and 117.51. 

Gill opens up on successful pairing with skipper Rohit 

"I think because his (Rohit's) targeted areas are a bit different (to mine). He loves to go aerial in the Powerplay," Gill was quoted as saying by the ICC. "And I'm someone who likes to find the gaps and keep getting those boundaries, and he's someone who likes to hit sixes. So I think that combination works well."

Gill said being the youngster he personally relishes batting with a modern-day stalwart like Rohit since the opposition tends to focus more on taming his run-scoring abilities, which gives him the space to be able to unleash his freeflowing best. 

The 23-year-old made a humble assessment of his part in the impactful duo and reckoned Rohit's prolific ways give him the freedom to express himself without thinking of what-ifs. 

"It feels great to be able to open with him, especially knowing that all the focus is on him. He's someone who likes the other batters to go and just express himself and play the way I want to play the game. So in that nature, he gives the players full freedom for how they want to express their game," he added. 

The Rohit-Gill stand will be pivotal to India's cause when they enter the Asia Cup campaign in Sri Lanka and prep up for the World Cup at home. The Indian team begin their run in the continental tournament on September 2 in Pallekele against arch-rivals Pakistan.