During this year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, Shubman Gill had impressed one and all with his stellar batting show. The 18-year-old had 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 Gill’s huge appetite for runs, his strokes’ uncanny resemblance to India skipper Virat Kohli had 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 Shubman and Virat.
And now Gill has revealed that it is none other than Virat Kohli whom he idolizes in contemporary cricket.
“After Sachin paaji quit the game, I found inspiration in Virat [Kohli]. He is my idol now,” Shubman Gill told Sportstar.
Seeing Shubman’s heroics during the U-19 World Cup in January, the Kolkata Knight Riders bought the youngsters for INR 1.80 crore in IPL auction. He has entered into auction ring with a base price of 20 lakhs.
The prospect of a maiden stint in the cash-rich league has certainly got Gill excited. Moreover, he is interested in booking a berth in the Knights’ playing XI when it takes on Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
“It would be a great moment for me to play alongside Virat. I would like to display my batting to Virat if I make it to the final XI. That would be really good,” Shubman added.
Besides Gill, two other Under-19 World Cup champions – Kamlesh Nagarkoti and Shivam Mavi will also represent KKR in the forthcoming Indian Premier League. No wonder, Shubman is happy to have reunited with his U-19 team-mates.
“We have been playing for two years. We have shared a good bonding and that is certainly comforting. That would help for sure,” the right-hander asserted.
Having already been mentored by the great Rahul Dravid, Gill also expressed his desire to pick up a thing or two from the legendary KKR coach Jacques Kallis.
“I want to know a few things from Kallis sir on how to improve my game. He being such a great cricketer, it would be good to hear about his experiences. I am really keeping my fingers crossed,” he said.
Blooming with confidence Shubman believes IPL is all about mental toughness.
“The intensity is more here. When you are playing at a higher level, one has to keep the morals high and play as per situation. It is important to be mentally tough,” he concluded.
The 11th edition of India Premier League is scheduled to start on April 7, with defending champions Mumbai Indians taking on the returning franchise Chennai Super Kings. The two times IPL champions Kolkata Knights Riders will kick off their campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 8.