IPL 2020: Scott Styris expecting big things from "fabulous" Shubman Gill 

Gill has scored 499 runs in 27 games for Kolkata Knight Riders at an average of 33.26, strike-rate of 132.36.

Shubman Gill | IANS Former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris believes Shubman Gill is in line for a massive season with the bat for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in this year's edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Before Knight Riders open their campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Abu Dhabi this Wednesday (September 22), Styris heaped rich praise on their prodigiously talented batsman, stressing his importance to the side during Star Sports' show 'Game Plan'. 

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"I have been the number one cheerleader of Gill since the last 18 months. Since Shubhman Gill has been around, I can say I'm at the top of that fan-boy list, and I think he is a fabulous cricketer," said Styris on Gill, who has made 499 runs at an average of 33.26 and strike-rate of 132.36 since his entry in the KKR set-up. 

"Shubhman Gill, now with the loss of Robin and Gautam Gambhir at KKR, is now a leader, the focal point of that batting unit. He is the best batsman of KKR." 

"So there's a lot more responsibility on Gill that you don't see with a lot of those other youngsters and that maybe the only thing that holds him down. Just looked great and he has played great, but he has got the extra responsibility that some of those other players don't (have)," he added for the 21-year-old. 

Styris also opined whether he thinks Knight Riders have what it takes to make the playoffs this season or probably go all the way. 

"I've got KKR sitting there in third place. I think they're quite thin and the thinness comes from the batting unit. There's so much talent with the bowling, we (are) still looking forward to seeing Shivam Mavi and Nagarkoti bowling together from what two seasons ago, when India won the under 19 World Cup."

"There is Ferguson, Cummins, and Andre Russell, a pace bowling (unit) that can take care of anybody. But they never seem to get everybody on the park, and they get a couple of injuries. I worry about the bench strength. They've got a great coach, Brendon McCullum, coming off with a title with TKR at CPL with some of those players as well. So there's a lot to like about this team." 

Being on the show alongside Styris, former Australia paceman Brett Lee said wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav will be crucial to KKR's chances in conditions across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. 

"When Kuldeep Yadav is in form, you have got a very successful side," said Lee. "He has got beautiful variations, spins the ball both ways, good in the field as well and he brings those dynamics to the team."

"I want to see him more aggressive and back himself, and confidence is the key. If he gets hit for a six, move it away and get back to your channels and he can turn it around for KKR to have a big season," he added. 

(Inputs from ANI)


By Kashish Chadha - 23 Sep, 2020

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