Shubman Gill, who recently received his maiden Test call-up, has revealed that former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh's support has been 'massively helpful' in his career and that his focus has solely been on performing better in the sport.
The 20-year-old was picked in India's Test squad for the three-match series against South Africa as the selectors continued to solve the top-order batting puzzle with KL Rahul being dropped.
Gill recently played a knock of 90 runs for India A in the first unofficial Test against South Africa A in Thiruvananthapuram.
"He (Yuvraj) has been through so many challenges in his career, and his support and chats with me have been massively helpful. He's spoken to me about keeping my focus on cricket and let other aspects of professional life (endorsements, player management) aside. Guidance is very important in these aspects. Yuvraj didn't want me to sign with any player management company at the start of my career. He said 'just go and play, forget about these things. I didn't sign anyone," the Punjab cricketer was quoted saying by ESPNCricinfo.
Shubman Gill rose to fame when he starred for Prithvi Shaw-led India Under-19 team in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018, which they won by beating Australia in the final. Gill was the tournament's second-best run-scorer with 372 runs from six matches in New Zealand, where he slammed one century and three fifties.
This also resulted in him winning an Indian Premier League (IPL) contract with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). He has scored 499 runs in 27 matches over the two seasons, hitting four fifties.
The Firozpur-born cricketer also made his senior debut earlier this year when he was named in India's squad for the ODI series against New Zealand. He, however, scored only 16 runs in two matches after batting at three in both the games.
The right-handed batsman also revealed how his father played a very important role during his early cricket-playing days, adding that he used to face 200-300 balls in the nets.
"I am calm, but it's also something I've learnt from my father – he had the patience and calmness to keep throwing 200-300 balls in the nets when I was a kid. From my early days, Under-14 and Under-16 days, I've played a lot of days' cricket, so temperamentally I adjusted to it very early. From there on, my mindset has been such that if I am set and batting on 100, I have to convert it into a big one, and shouldn't play any loose shots," he added.
Virat Kohli-led India will take on South Africa in the first of the three Tests starting on 2 October at Visakhapatnam. The number one ranked Test team recently kicked off their ICC World Test Championship campaign with a 2-0 series win away at West Indies. They top the standings with 120 points. Meanwhile, this will be South Africa's first match in the World Test Championship.