Shubman Gill: 'I don't copy anybody'

Team India's batting mainstay in the recently concluded U-19 World Cup, Shubman Gill, idolises Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli but insisted that he copies no one in his batting.

It is in constructing long innings that Shubman Gill seems to find his greatest satisfaction in.   -  PTI

In a span of two weeks, Shubman Gill has won a World Cup, been named the Player of the Tournament and bagged an IPL contract. Still, the 18-year-old has none of the air that can usually accompany high-achieving teenagers; his voice soft-spoken to the extent that it's barely audible and a demeanour which is as mild as it gets.

On Sunday, after he scored a match-winning hundred for Punjab in a must-win Vijay Hazare Trophy game against heavyweight Karnataka, it seemed no different. What stood out was his acumen – both during the innings and after.

“It was important for me to forget the last three innings [in the Vijay Hazare Trophy],” Shubman said. “I didn't play well and got out to some bad shots. Here I had that belief that if I stay for around 10 overs, I can score more after that. I just wanted to bat till the end. That was the only thing on my mind.”

It is in constructing long innings that Shubman seems to find his greatest satisfaction in. Even at the U-19 World Cup, he crossed 60 four of the five times he batted and against Karnataka he was at the crease for the entire 42 overs.

“It's over a period of time that I have developed those qualities,” he explained. “If I am set, I don't try and play fancy shots and get out. In Vijay Hazare, with the match starting at 9 a.m., it is important to see off the pacers and score off the spinners. So I have practised stepping down the wicket to spinners.”

Though he idolises Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, Shubman insisted that he copies no one in his batting. There have been suggestions that a few of his shots – like the short-arm jab – even resemble Kohli's but Shubman is having none of it.

“I don't try and copy anybody. But when I am trying to execute a few shots it sometimes comes automatically. Over a period it becomes part of your muscle memory. But I don't practise such kind of shots [like those of Kohli].”

It is perhaps such clear thinking which kept his focus firmly on the World Cup and did not let it waver towards the IPL auction which took place during the tournament.

“We were not really stressed. But some players got selected and some didn't. So it was like [awkward]. At that time sir [Rahul Dravid] really wanted us to focus on the World Cup. The time difference also helped because when the auction ended it was late in the night [in New Zealand] and we had all slept.”