Shubman Gill played an exceptional innings to make sure the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) go back from Eden Gardens without those two winning points. Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman, Gill produced a good knock when the game was swinging like a pendulum. It would have gone either way, but the 18-year-old made sure they chase down 178 without any fuss.
MS Dhoni-led CSK scored 177 off their 20 overs. Their top order batsmen showed it is a good track to bat on if you put a price on your wicket and don't throw it away. Shane Watson scored 36 (25), Faf du Plessis 27 (15), Suresh Raina 31 (26), and Ambati Rayudu 21 (17). But none of them could bat till the last over as Dhoni (43* off 25) needed a partner at the other end. Ravindra Jadeja once again failed to impress with his run-a-ball 12.
In reply, Gill, who was promoted to number 4 in the batting order, scored 57 not out for his maiden half-century. "I am very pleased to have batted at No. 4. I had dropped a catch, so I had to finish the game. Was talking with DK about how to deal with the death overs. Especially with the spinners bowling. The plan was about making sure that runs are flowing, and if the ball is bad, we'll hit," Gill said after the match.
The right-handed bat said he is relishing the experience of playing in the IPL.
"KKR crowd is the best. No matter whether we win or lose. Great IPL experience, Jacques Kallis, and Simon Katich are great, so much to learn from them," the 18-year-old added.
The partnership between him and skipper Dinesh Karthik was of 83 runs. CSK failed to break the partnership and continued their poor death bowling from last game against Delhi Daredevils.
The KKR captain didn't miss out on praising the U-19 star. "Credit to the management to have taken so many U-19 players. We were a little harsh on Gill earlier, but he's hit first-ball boundaries in the past too, so he's been good. Don't want to hype him up so he doesn't feel the added pressure, but he's special. I can see a lot of Indian Blues in him," Karthik said at the post-match presentation ceremony.