How Shubman Gill, player of ICC U-19 World Cup, polished his ‘Virat Kohli shot’
Indian U-19 cricket team star Shubman Gill on Monday said Yuvraj Singh had a role to play in his stellar show in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup and had worked on his technique in the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore.
“Yuvi paaji gave a lot of guidance when I was injured. He was at the NCA and told me things about being on and off the field and gave me some tips. Then, when I had started batting, he batted along with me, which helped me a lot,” he told reporters here on Monday.
Gill emerged the second highest run-getter of the World Cup in New Zealand, and was adjudged the Player-of-the-Tournament. Barring the final against Australia where he scored 31, Gill’s scores read 63, 90*, 86 and 102*. The ton against Pakistan in the semifinals guided India to a 203-run victory.
“There was pressure for the game against Pakistan. Our openers gave us a good start, and it was going well in the middle. Rahul sir advised me to bat till the end and the partnership with Anukul (Roy) was good,” Gill said. “After my knock against Pakistan, my father said ‘well played’. It was good to be adjudged Player-of-the-tournament.”
Gill’s effortless strokeplay has earned applauds from the cricket fraternity and impressed Kolkata Knight Riders, who shelled out ₹1.8 crore for his services in the player auction. “When I was young, my father used to bowl pace and that helped my bat swing improve. I have seen Virat (Kohli) hitting that cover drive and practiced a lot for that shot.”
He said he wasn’t following the IPL auctions live as he was too exhausted after the clash against Bangladesh. “We were tired as we had played Bangladesh a day before. I woke up and got to know I was picked by KKR. At that time I didn’t think about the IPL and focused on the World Cup.”
Gill, who plays first-class cricket for Punjab and has a century to his name in the format, said playing the World Cup was a different challenge altogether. “The pressure of World Cup and Ranji is different. In Ranji, you have to be patient and in the World Cup, you have to be fast. The pressure-level in the World Cup is high as the (games) are televised. The preparation was good and we were prepared for the worst wickets. After we defeated Australia in the first match, we thought our chances were there.”