Shubman Gill : On handling the pressure, learnings from Dravid, international debut, and the road ahead (Exclusive Interview)
- A talk with the 'Next Big Thing' in Indian cricket: his ambitions, learnings from one of the greats of the game, and what's next.
The joy of being adjudged the Player of the Tournament at the U-19 World Cup, lucrative IPL contracts, and the euphoria of donning the national jersey - at just 20 years of age, Shubman Gill has lived it all. The youngster has created an aura around himself, so much so that he has already been termed as the 'Next Big Thing' in Indian cricket. His batting acumen, comprising of fluid stroke-play and controlled aggression, has managed to grab the eyeballs of cricketing pundits all around the world.
However, irrespective of the limelight, Gill remains focused and wants to keep churning runs for the team he is playing for without thinking of anything else. Sportskeeda caught up with the talented right-hander for a brief chat where he spoke about various things such as handling the pressure, learnings from Rahul Dravid, his international debut, and the road ahead.
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How much has life changed for Shubman Gill since the U-19 World Cup?
I had planned to do well at the U-19 level. I knew good performances there would give me chances to feature for the senior team and in the IPL. Altogether, I had set specific goals, which I achieved step by step, and that makes me happy. There is no drastic change in my life as such.
Virat Kohli had said that he was not even 10% of what you are at this age. What was your reaction when you heard this?
That was very kind of him to say that. He saw me in the nets, and when a player of his stature praises you, you know you are going in the right direction. Such kind words always motivate you to work harder.
So, at 20, you are already the talk of the town, there are a lot of hopes on your shoulders. Does it put additional pressure on you?
All these things are in your mind only when you are away from the field. Once you walk out to bat, these thoughts fade away automatically. All you think about is how you can do well on that particular day and win the match for your team.
Rahul Dravid has played a crucial role in shaping up your career. Can you tell us about the most significant learning from him?
Rahul sir always emphasizes trusting one's own game and doesn't want complete changes in anybody's technique. He says that there is no need to change your natural game, which got you success, just because you are playing at a higher level. Most of the things remain the same, and eventually, it is all about how you can express yourself at different levels.
You earned the ODI cap against New Zealand earlier this year. Were you disappointed with the fact that you couldn't capitalize upon the opportunity?
I was not disappointed with myself. It is not necessary that I will score runs every time I walk out to bat. At times, things take time to settle down. I want to keep working on my game and cash upon the opportunities that come my way in the future.
You have also been a part of India's Test squad for a while now. Please tell us about your experience of sharing the dressing room with the best team in the world?
It has been a great experience for me altogether because we have a very light atmosphere in the dressing room. Even a newbie doesn't feel like new there. There is no such thing as a senior or junior player.
With the T20 WC coming up in October 2020, on a personal note, the upcoming season of IPL becomes very crucial for you. So, what do you expect from it?
Right now, my only intention is to perform as good as possible for the team that I am playing for so that I can win matches for them. Apart from that, I am not focussing on any other things, to be honest.