Shubman Gill’s stocks as a limited-overs batsman have gone a notch above after IPL 2019. Batting in the lower middle-order before the KKR team management decided to send him as an opener, Gill amassed 296 runs from 13 innings with the highest score of 76.
The 19-year-old opened the innings in just 5 matches and registered the scores of 65, 14, 76, 65* and 9. Gill drew rich praises from the overseas commentators throughout the campaign and ended up winning the "Emerging-Player-of-the-Year" award.
In an exclusive interview with India Today, Gill reflected on his second IPL season and said: “This IPL was a confidence booster. But I would not say that I am satisfied because there were a lot of other opportunities where I should have done better. And as a team we had a chance to win the last game to qualify for playoffs. But the positive is that I got runs at the top of the order and while chasing as well. So learned a lot.”
Talking about his mindset while batting at the top and at No.6, the stylish right-hander added: "When you are batting down the order, the mind set is completely different. When you are batting at the top you can pace the innings. While batting down, you either have to bat at the same pace that is set or raise the pace. So you can bat your own way and that's an advantage when you are batting at the top. That's what I tried to capitalise on and it worked in some innings.”
At his home ground Mohali, when KKR faced the Kings XI Punjab in a must-win game, Shubman played an unbeaten knock of 65 from 49 balls to guide his team over the line. In attendance was his father, who was seen dancing in the stands after Gill completed his fifty.
Asked how he felt to have made his father proud, the teenager said: “It felt so good. He has made me work so hard, help me get here and to know he is happy and enjoying my game. What better than this for your father from a son.”
During the almost two-month-long IPL, Gill got the chance to learn things from the legendary all-rounder Jacques Kallis. Sharing the inputs he received from coach Kallis, the youngster remarked, “When the tournament began, Jacques Kallis told me to trust my strengths and keep doing what I have been doing for all these years. He had told me, 'you have many cricketing shots that you don't need to do anything extra.' And it sounds very simple but to be able to keep doing that is the key.”
Earlier this year, Shubman Gill made his ODI debut in New Zealand. Recalling the moment, Gill said he was disappointed to have not made the most of two opportunities.
“Wearing the India cap this year, to do it away from home was a big moment. I was a little disappointed that I could not capitalize on it but I know in future opportunities with come and I will have to keep working hard,” he asserted.