Shubman Gill says he is happy to have made his father proud
Young batting gun and star of India’s U19 World Cup triumph, 19-year-old Shubman Gill won the Emerging Player of the Tournament award in the IPL 2019 for scoring 296 runs at an average of 32.88, with three fifties for the Kolkata Knight Riders franchise. In only his second IPL season, the batsman finished as KKR’s fourth-highest run-scorer behind Andre Russell (510), Chris Lynn (405) and Nitish Rana (344).
Gill played the first few games of the season at No. 6, a position he is not used to in domestic cricket. The right-hander, apart from one inning, could not do well down the order, after which he was promoted as an opener and thereon he kept piling up runs in every game. At his home ground Mohali, when KKR played the Kings XI Punjab in a do-or-die clash, the flamboyant batsman scored a 49-ball 65* to bag the Man of the Match award. In attendance were his parents, who were seen dancing in the stands out of sheer joy.
In a recent interview to India Today, Gill spoke about how good it felt to do his parents proud. “It felt so good. He has made me work so hard, help me get here and to know he is happy and enjoying my game. What better than this for your father from a son,” he was quoted as saying.
The fame which began in the U19 World Cup
Gill first took people by attention during India’s successful Under-19 World Cup last year, when his solid technique had analysts comparing with Virat Kohli. He ended the tournament as the second-highest run-getter with 372 runs in six games which saw three half-centuries and a century in the semi-finals against arch-rivals Pakistan.
In the IPL auctions that followed, he was picked by KKR for INR 1.80 Cr and enjoyed a decent first season with 203 runs in 13 outings.
The biggest glory of his Gill’s life was the call-up to the Indian Cricket Team earlier this year for the tour of New Zealand. However, he could not capitalize on it as he managed only a 21-ball nine before getting out caught and bowled off Trent Boult. With the kind of form the youngster was in this season of the IPL, it is only fair on him to expect another inclusion of the Indian Team post the World Cup 2019.