10 things to know about India’s latest batting star Shubman Gill
India, as a cricketing nation, have this unique feature of producing world-class batsmen. They keep churning out batsmen who compete with the very best at the world stage. The latest of them is India’s Under-19 star batsman Shubman Gill.
In the recently concluded Under-19 World Cup which India won, Gill was the standout with the bat. In 6 games he played in the tournament, the 18-year old number three batsman batted in five innings and scored 372 runs which included 3 fifties and 1 hundred. He averaged 124 in the tournament and had a strike-rate of 112.38. The Punjab batsman was also magnificent in the field, taking some brilliant catches.
He batted beautifully throughout the tournament and failed to score a fifty only once (in the final). He scored a vital 86 in the quarter-final against Bangladesh and a superb unbeaten 102 in the semi-final against Pakistan. He was named the Player of the Tournament and also won 3 Man of the Match awards in the World Cup.
However, lot of people might not know a lot about the Under-19 World Cup Player of the tournament. Thus, here are ten important facts about Shubman Gill.
#1 Born on September 8th 1999 in a small town named Fazilka in Punjab, Shubman Gill is a right-handed batsman who bats in the top 3. He started liking the game when he was four-year-old but took it seriously when he was about 7 or 8.
#2 Shubman’s father owned farms (agricultural lands) in Fazilka and it was there that Shubman practiced. His father would often ask his helpers to throw balls at the budding cricketer to help him practice. After realizing the talent that Shubman possessed, the Gill family shifted to Mohali where the youngster could get proper training. The family rented a house near the Punjab Cricket Association IS Bindra Stadium. Gill credits his father for his success and states that his father had a big role to play.
#3 Gill had a tough time balancing studies and cricket. Hence, he got attendance from school. Thus, his main routine used to be eat, gym, practice, yoga and sleep. He used to practice for about 4-5 hours a day. Gill also played a lot of age-group cricket and was very successful there. In an Under-16 Inter-District tournament, he scored 351 runs in one innings. Even on his Under-16 state debut for Punjab, he smashed an unbeaten double century. All this came in the year 2014.
#4 After some very consistent performances, Gill was awarded a place in the Under-19 team when England Under-19 team toured India for Youth ODIs. In that series, he scored 351 runs in four innings and was awarded the Man of the Series. In the return series, when India Under-19 toured England, he was again the top-scorer (278 runs in four innings).
#5 Following his consistent performances in the Under-19 ODIs, the selectors decided to reward his consistency and hard work. Gill found a place in the India ‘A’ squad which played against New Zealand ‘A’ in October 2017. Unfortunately, a side strain ruled him out of the series.
#6 Shubman Gill made his List ‘A’ debut in February 2017 for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He made only 11 on debut. Overall, he has played 7 List ‘A’ games and has amassed 247 runs at an average of 35.28.
#7 After a very good 8 months of cricket, Gill made his first-class debut in last year’s Ranji Trophy season (2017-18). On debut (against Bengal), he made 63 and 21. And only in his 3rd first-class innings (2nd game), he scored a scintillating 129. In four innings he’s batted, so far in first-class cricket, he has scored 245 runs at an average of 61.25 (and a strike-rate of 81.39).
#8 Gill is the only batsman to have an average of over 100 in Youth ODIs. In 15 innings, he has scored 1149 runs at a staggering average of 104.45 with 4 hundreds and 6 fifties. All these at a strike-rate of 103.23. In fact, he has never been dismissed for below 20 in Youth ODIs (his lowest score is 24).
#9 Shubman Gill is also a little superstitious. There is a red handkerchief that he carries every game. The story behind it is that he carried a white handkerchief to one of the Under-16 games and scored a century to put an end to a string of low scores. Since it was white, it got dirty and messy. Hence, he carried a red one for the next game and scored another ton. Thus, from that time carrying a red handkerchief to every game has become a habit for the Punjabi.
#10 Shubman Gill idolizes Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. When Sportskeeda caught up with the 18-year old in August after his brilliant England tour, he said, “Obviously, my all-time favourite is Sachin Tendulkar. When I started watching cricket, he was a legend, he is still a legend and will remain one forever. But, now my favourite is Virat Kohli. I like his style, the way he carries himself and how he handles pressure. I would like to try and emulate him. It will be very difficult.”