Sabyasachi Bagchi: Shubman Gill became a star in Indian cricket after getting man of the tournament award in the ICC U19 World Cup held in New Zealand. India became unbeaten champion by defeating Australia in the finals. Gill, the right handed batsman scored 341 runs in five matches with an average of 170.50 and got chance to play for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). After returning to India, he talked with www.xtratime.in regarding his future plans and IPL as well.
XT: It’s the first time you will play in the IPL. Did you watch the Auction?
Gill: No. We were sleeping. Next day, we had the Quarter Final match against Bangladesh.
XT: How you feel after getting the news that you are in the KKR squad and what you want to achive in this IPL?
Gill: It was a very precious moment for me and I hope that I will get chance to play in this IPL as I performed well in recent times.
XT: How Indian captain Virat Kohli inspired you?
Gill: He is my favorite cricketer. I love to watch Kohli playing cover drives and I tried to emulate this shot. My father use to bowl fast at the nets and I tried to play like Virat in my childhood.
XT: How Yuvraj Singh inspired you at the NCA camp?
Gill: He is a great man and likes to help the young cricketers. He used to watch my batting after his training and helped a lot by giving me valuable tips. He is known for his grounded on drives. He advised me not to play lofted shots as I got out many times by playing lofted shot in the U14 and U 19 matches. He told me to play grounded shot to keep the opposition on pressure and scoring some big runs.
XT: You played brilliantly against Pakistan. Was there any special message from Coach Rahul Dravid?
Gill: Dravid sir just said if you can perform well in this match you will be hero but, if you will not perform well you can be criticised but, don’t listen to the negative comments. Just play your natural game.
XT: What is the secret behind your success?
Gill: I used to play at Mohali where the wicket is generally fast and that helped me as New Zealand wicket was very similar to that.
XT: After scoring century against Pakistan Harbhajan Singh tweeted. How you feel about it?
Gill: It was a great achievement for me as the Punjab captain and a veteran player like Harbhajan Singh tweeted about me.
XT: You got Seven – Eight players in the U 19 team who played first class cricket. Do you think it helped you to become unbeaten champions?
Gill: Yes it helped but, World Cup is very different as every match was telecasted and you have very little chance to fight back in these matches but in Ranji Trophy or a five day match there are very little chances to fight back and the first class cricket all the matches are not telecasted.