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I am nowhere near Virat Kohli, says Shubman Gill

Sportskeeda caught up with Shubman Gill in an exclusive interview after the under-19 World Cup.

Exclusive 07 Feb 2018, 15:32 IST
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Shubman
Shubman Gill (right) and Prithvi Shaw celebrate India's under-19 World Cup win

The last few days have been quite hectic for the Indian under-19 players and the coaching staffs as they created history by winning their fourth under-19 World Cup crown last Saturday, flew back home with the trophy and were busy with felicitations functions in Mumbai.

One of the main reasons behind India's triumph in the tournament was the performances of vice-captain Shubman Gill, who registered three fifties and one century in the tournament and failed to score a fifty only once (in the final). The 18-year-old was also deservedly named the Player of the Tournament for scoring 372 runs in five innings at an average of 124 and a strike-rate of 112.38.

He batted brilliantly throughout the tournament and drew a lot of comparisons with Indian skipper Virat Kohli for his playing style and the consistency he showed whenever he walked out to bat. He scored a vital 86 in the quarter-final against Bangladesh and a superb unbeaten 102 in the semi-final against Pakistan. Apart from the Player of the Tournament award, he also won 3 Man of the Match awards in the World Cup.

After attending the felicitation functions, the team dinner etc. in Mumbai, Shubman was in Bangalore to take part in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy. After landing in India on the afternoon of February 5, Shubman took the field for Punjab earlier today (February 7).

Amidst his busy schedule, the Punjab batsman spoke to Sportskeeda and discussed various things about the under-19 World Cup. Here are the excerpts

Also read: Thriving under Dravid, Indian under-19 batsman Shubman Gill sets sights on emulating Virat Kohli

Experience of playing in the under-19 World Cup: It was a great experience for all of us. We all are really proud of what we did over the last one month. I hope that this experience will help me grow as a player in the future. I think there were really high expectations from all of us that we will do well and bring the cup back home. We were quite confident of going all the way even before the tournament started. After beating Australia in our first match, we were pretty sure that we will win the World Cup.

On winning the Player of the Tournament award: I just wanted to help my teammates and contribute towards the team's success. I didn't really think of scoring these many runs and winning the Player of the Tournament. Even if I had scored a 20-odd and that resulted in the team's victory, I would have been happy.

Comparisons with Virat Kohli: I think Kohli is a great cricketer and there is a long way for me to go to be compared with Kohli. I am nowhere near him as he has achieved a lot while I am just beginning my career. Yeah, I admire his style, I admire his attitude and the way he carries himself on and off the field. But, for me to reach that level, there is still a long way to go.

What's next for Shubman Gill?: Of course, my dream is to play for India in the future. But now, I just want to focus on one tournament at a time. I don't want to think about representing the county right now. I am playing for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare trophy from tomorrow (today) and my focus right now is on doing well in that tournament. If I keep scoring runs, things will take care of themselves.

On Yuvraj Singh's advice: I was injured at that time and was feeling down when I was rehabbing at the NCA in Bangalore. Yuvraj paaji was also there and he told me to not worry as I will get my time. He also told me to practice hard and gave me some other tips as well. It was really helpful for me during the World Cup.

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