After impressing one and all with his remarkable batting performances in the recently concluded ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, Shubman Gill has revealed how the veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh guided him at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) in Bengaluru leading up to the showpiece event.
Gill was in terrific form during the ICC U-19 cricket World cup, scoring 372 runs from 5 innings with a staggering average of 124. After registering the scores of 63, 90*, 86 in the league matches, Shubman up his game by many folds in the semi-final against arch-rivals Pakistan to notch up his maiden century (102*) in the Youth World Cup. The right-hander made 31 in the final against Australia and was rightfully adjudged Player of the 2018 U-19 World Cup.
"Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj Singh) gave a lot of guidance when he was at the NCA. He told me things about on and off the field, he gave me tips and batted along with me," Gill quoted according to DNA.
When asked about his innings against Pakistan, Gill said the legendary India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid had advised him to play till the end in that high pressure encounter.
"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," the 18-year-old said.
Shubman heroics during the U-19 World Cup saw him being picked by the IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders for INR 1.80 crore.
Talking about the mood in Indian camp when the IPL auction was going on in Bangalore on January 27 and 28, Gill said: "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."
India had all their bases covered in the Youth World Cup with the bowlers picking up 60 wickets in 6 matches while batsmen piling up runs consistently. No wonder, Gill feels that they could have won on any surface given the team’s preparation.
"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)," concluded Gill, who plays for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy.