A star in the making should be a correct adjective to describe an exceptional teenage prodigy which made the world take notice of him in the recently concluded ICC U-19 World Cup which India won by beating Australia in the final.
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The youngster who I am talking about is Shubman Gill who became the first Junior Indian cricketer to score a century against Pakistan in a knockout game in the Junior World Cup.
The youngster who scored 50+ on four occasions in the tournament revealed it was senior batsman Yuvraj Singh who guided him in the past.
“Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj Singh) gave a lot of guidance when he was at the NCA (National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru). He told me things about on and off the field, he gave me tips and batted along with me,” Gill said.
When asked about the innings against Pakistan in the Semis, Gill says he was asked by his coach Rahul Dravid to play till the end.
“There was pressure for the game against Pakistan. Our openers gave a good start, and it was going well in the middle. We lost some wickets and Rahul (Dravid) sir advised me to bat till the end and the partnership with Anukul (Roy) was good,” said Gill who was adjudged the Player of the Tournament in the recently concluded World Cup.
Gill was bought for Rs 1.8 crores by the Kolkata Knight Riders along with two other U-19 stars, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi.
“We were tired as we had finished the match against Bangladesh a day before (the auction). I woke up and got to know that I was picked by KKR. At that time I did not think about the IPL, and the focus was on the World Cup,” said Gill, who plays for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy.
Gill reveals the preparations were such that he was even ready to play in the worst of the wicket.
“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 (to win the title),” the attacking batsman said.
Gill concluded by saying playing in the Ranji Trophy was different to the feeling of playing in a World Cup.
“The pressure in World Cup is different from that in Ranji (Trophy). 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 more) as the (games) are televised,” Gill signed off.
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