Mumbai: One of the foremost things that the fast-rising star batsman Shubman Gill has learnt in his short while at the top level is accepting the fact that scoring runs at the international level will not come as easy as it did in Under-19 cricket and making peace with the same.
Shubman, 20, was named the Player of the Tournament in the previous edition of the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year. Since then, his career has been on the upward swing, including a double century against the West Indies A in the Caribbean in August. At just 19 years and 334 days, the Punjab batsman become the youngest Indian to score a double ton in First Class cricket when he amassed 204 off 257 balls in Trinidad. More recently, he broke the record of the youngest captain to lead a side in Deodhar Trophy final.
Shubman, while showing maturity beyond his age said,"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," at a promotional event organised by Cinthol.
He didn't have the brightest of start in international cricket with 9 and 7 runs in the first two ODIs he played in New Zealand earlier this year.
"I can't expect myself to score runs every time I play," the 20-year-old said, "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."
Shubman, who has been shuttling between different teams and formats week in and out — by playing in domestic 50-over competitions one week and then training with the Test side in the next — cited it is the case with every modern cricketer. He also said that it isn't difficult to switch between formats on a technical front, but just a change of mental approach.
"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," the very reticent Gill told to mediapersons.
India's success as a team across formats has often be credited to the domestic set up and the robustness of the system.
"If you look at the India A team, we haven't lost a single series home or away in recent times, that's why the main team is doing so well because everything changes, from top down everyone is working really hard," he told.
Shubman, according to many, missed the chance to secure a place in the Test side when India toured the West Indies after spending some time on the fringes of the senior side. However, Gill made it count by impressing with the A side. Sooner rather than later, the selection call was expected and he did when he received his maiden Test call-up in the home Test series against South Africa.
With the World Test championship points at stake and no real weakling in the team, the young gun didn't get a break in the first Test series but Gill believes to even be a part of current Indian team's squad is 'special'.
"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," he said.
Gill added, "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."
Even chairman of selectors MSK Prasad has gone on record to hail Gill's talent and potential as exceptional.
“As far as Shubman Gill is concerned, we look at him as an opener as well as middle-order batsman,” Prasad had said earlier in July. “We are looking at him as back-up for both the slots. As he keeps playing more and more, he will get his opportunities, because he is a player for all three formats.”
When asked about his preference in the batting order, Gill, like an obedient boy, said he was happy to bat anywhere the team wants him to play.
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