During the recently concluded ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, the 18-year-old Shubman Gill has impressed one and all with a series of batting exhibition. The right-hander finished the showpiece event with 372 runs to his name and was rightly adjudged Player of the 2018 U-19 World Cup, which the Boys in Blue clinched by beating Australia in the final.
Apart from Shubman huge appetite for runs, his strokes’ uncanny resemblance to India skipper Virat Kohli has grabbed everyone’s attention during the Youth World Cup. Whether it is the bottom handed extra cover drive or the short arm jab over mid-wicket, cricket fans couldn’t stop drawing parallels between Gill and Kohli.
However, the Punjab batsman feels that it is unfair on Team India skipper to be compared with someone who admires his attitude and style.
“I think Kohli is a great cricketer and there is a long way for me to go to be compared with Kohli. I am nowhere near him as he has achieved a lot while I am just beginning my career. Yeah, I admire his style, I admire his attitude and the way he carries himself on and off the field. But, for me to reach that level, there is still a long way to go,” Gill said in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.
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 U-19 World Cup. He scored 31 in the final while chasing Australia’s target of 217.
Sharing the experience of playing in the showpiece event, Gill said: “It was a great experience for all of us. We all are really proud of what we did over the last one month. I hope that this experience will help me grow as a player in the future.”
“I think there were really high expectations from all of us that we will do well and bring the cup back home. We were quite confident of going all the way even before the tournament started. After beating Australia in our first match, we were pretty sure that we will win the World Cup,” he elaborated.
When asked about his personal performances throughout the triumphant campaign, Gill modestly replied, “I just wanted to help my teammates and contribute towards the team's success. I didn't really think of scoring these many runs and winning the Player of the Tournament. Even if I had scored a 20-odd and that resulted in the team's victory, I would have been happy.”
The teenage batsman also revealed how the veteran Yuvraj Singh helped him during his rehabilitation period at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) in Bengaluru leading up to the U-19 World Cup.
“I was injured at that time and was feeling down when I was rehabbing at the NCA in Bangalore. Yuvraj paaji was also there and he told me to not worry as I will get my time. He also told me to practice hard and gave me some other tips as well. It was really helpful for me during the World Cup,” Gill concluded.