Indian selectors and the team management have fast-tracked quite a few youngsters into the senior team in recent times. Among the list of cricketers, the 20-year-old Shubman Gill is one of them.
Gill had impressed one and all with his stellar batting performances during the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New Zealand. The stylish right-hander had finished the showpiece event with 372 runs to his name and was rightly adjudged Player of the tournament, which the Boys in Blue clinched by beating Australia in the final.
Subsequently, Shubman made a successful transition to first-class cricket, amassing 728 runs at an average of 104 in Ranji Trophy 2018-19 season.
Despite his dominance at the junior level, the Punjab batsman believes scoring runs at the international level will not come as easy as it did in Under-19 cricket.
"You need to be more focussed and know that it won't be as easy to score runs at the senior level as it was while playing in the Under-19 level. You have to accept that. And then learn how to set yourself as a batsmen, how to build and pace your innings," he said at a promotional event organised by Cinthol on Wednesday (November 6).
The youngster also reflected on his ODI debut earlier this year in New Zealand, where he failed to make an impression on challenging pitches.
"I can't expect myself to score runs every time I play. I can't expect myself to score hundreds and settle down immediately but things do take time. It was a great experience, we had already won the series, especially to play on challenging wickets and then reflected on how to adapt the pressures of international cricket," he remarked.
Gill took his batting to a different level during India A’s recent tour to the Caribbean earlier this year. With 218 runs to his name from four innings at an average of 54.5, Shubman was the highest run-getter for India ‘A’ in the unofficial one-day series while he registered the scores of 40, 0 and 204 not out in three innings that he played in the unofficial Test series. The double ton in Trinidad made him the youngest to score a first-class double century for an Indian representative team.
Thanks to his rich vein of form, Gill received his maiden Test call-up for the South Africa series at home. He has also been retained in India’s Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Bangladesh.
"For anyone being a part of the Test squad is a big feat. Especially the kind of team we have currently that is doing so well currently across formats and to be a part of this side is a huge achievement," Gill said.
"I really liked the way how everyone was so disciplined, their work ethics was really great. Obviously, I get to learn a lot. When you're in the company of such big stars and share the dressing room space with them. You observe how they prepare ahead of the match, how they focus and behave before going out to bat and how they pace their innings while batting."
After the South Africa Test series where he didn’t get a chance to play, Shubman led India ‘C’ in the Deodhar Trophy (domestic 50-over tournament).
Asked about shuttling between different teams and formats week in and out, Gill said: "I think as cricketers we have to mentally prepare for this. There will be T20 or 50-over games or Test match. Your batting doesn't really change, it is just your mental approach.”
"There is not a big difference between the India A sides and the senior team in terms of the atmosphere, apart from the obvious difference between the standard i.e. international cricket is of the highest standard and how prepared you are mentally to play at the top level and willingness to succeed," he explained.
(Inputs from Firstpost)