Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) head coach Jacques Kallis has backed Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi. Both can have long international career respectively.
Both the players were part of India’s Under-19 team that won the ICC World Cup this year in New Zealand. They played an integral role in the team’s triumphant campaign.
Aggressive Gill was a leading run-getter of the tournament with four successive 50-plus scores including a match-winning century in the semi-final versus arch-rivals Pakistan.
Speedster Mavi, on the other hand, took nine wickets at a superb economy rate of 4.12. They were duly rewarded with lucrative contracts from the Knight Riders in this year’s mega two-day auction.
Veteran Kallis has watched both the youngsters from the close quarters and is very impressed with their progress.
Maybe that was the reason both the players made their debut in Knight Riders’ last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). And although they failed to impress, Kallis is very confident about their abilities while considering the impending fixtures.
“Shubman Gill and Shivam Mavi have bags of talent and I would be very surprised if they don’t both have lengthy and illustrious professional careers,” wrote Kallis in his column for TOI.
“Obviously, Gill has been a top-order batsman in every team he has played in but if his opportunity, for the moment, lies at six or seven then I’m sure he has the talent and temperament to be successful there,” he added.
“Mavi has plenty of pace which is very exciting and, although his opportunity was limited against the Sunrisers I see plenty more overs from him in the future,” he maintained.
The Knight Riders have made a mixed start to the season. The two-time IPL winners started the season with an impressive win against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
However, they lost their following two games. As a result, they are currently placed at fifth place on the points table.
Jacques Kallis acknowledged that Knight Riders need to get back to winning ways to keep pace with the other teams.
“We have fallen off the early pace with the defeat to Hyderabad and need to get back to winning ways soon. There is rarely much to be pleased with after a disappointing performance like that one but I was really impressed with the effort and determination to defend a sub-par total,” wrote Kallis, who in 70 matches for KKR scored 1603 runs and took 48 wickets.