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Consistent ‘A’ tour after IPL inspires Shubman Gill to dream big

Shubman Gill showed he could perform in pressure-cooker situations in this year’s IPL where he scored 203 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders with a personal best of 57.

cricket Updated: Jul 27, 2018 23:44 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
IPL,Shubman Gill,India A
India A Shubman Gill hits the ball during the Tri-Series match against England Lions at the Fischer County Ground, Leicester.(AP)

Very few successfully complete the transition from under-19 to the senior team but Shubman Gill has shown potential to make the cut. A highly successful India ‘A’ tour of England on the back of a good IPL outing with Kolkata Knight Riders means Gill will be hopeful of being remembered not just for being part of the team that won the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.

A gutsy right-hand batsman, Gill showed he could perform in pressure-cooker situations in this year’s IPL where he scored 203 runs for Kolkata Knight Riders with a personal best of 57. The Punjab batsman followed that up with another consistent run in the five List A matches during the ‘A’ tour of England, scoring 86, 37, 58*, 72 and 20.

Selected in the India ‘B’ team for the quadrangular series involving India ‘A’, India ‘B’, South Africa ‘A’ and ‘Australia A’ that starts August 17, Gill feels doing well here and later for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy can help him be in national reckoning.

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“For me the transition from U-19 World Cup to T20 (IPL) and then to ODIs in England was not that difficult. The mental preparation and getting used to the conditions well in advance helped a lot. And when you have a mentor like Rahul Dravid, every challenge becomes worth taking on. His contribution has been enormous in shaping my game. He is the best thing that has happened to me,” said Gill, who is currently attending Punjab’s off-season camp in Mohali.

When asked if there was rivalry with Prithvi Shaw, considering both are seen as future international players, Gill replied: “Not at all. We are like brothers. He does his job and I do mine. And when we do well, we congratulate each other too.”

“Post the U-19 World Cup, I have had a chance to play alongside cricketers like Dinesh Karthik and then seeing Chris Gayle and others from close quarters have been a learning curve. Now I need to deliver in the domestic tournaments to get to next level,” said Gill, Shubman, who made his Ranji debut last season and scored a century in his second game against Services.

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Not just getting to the next level, Gill also harbours the dream of making it to the squad for next year’s World Cup. He wasn’t even born when India won the 1983 World Cup but watching MS Dhoni lift the 2011 World Cup has inspired Gill to dream big. “I remember bursting crackers right after Dhoni hit that six to seal the win for India against Sri Lanka in the final. That World Cup win was enough to ignite that passion in me. My mission had started back then. It was memorable to be part of U-19 World Cup winning team in New Zealand. Now the dream is to be part of Indian team for 2019 World Cup,” said Gill.

Even making it to the reserves of the senior team will be a tough ask but Gill is ready to put in the hours with Virat Kohli as his inspiration. “He captained India to U-19 World Cup win in 2008 and is now leading the country. He never lost his focus. I also look up to his achievements and hard work,” said Gill.

First Published: Jul 27, 2018 19:15 IST