IPL 2018: Shubman Gill delivers at No 4

The India U-19 star batsman Gill finally joins the party with an unbeaten half-century against Chennai Super Kings.

Shubman Gill guide KKR to its fifth win of the season with a maiden IPL half-century.   -  PTI

Kolkata Knight Riders and India U-19 star Shubman Gill, who has been batting at No 7 in the tournament, finally came out of the closet against Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

The 18-year-old registered his maiden IPL fifty — 57 not out off 36 balls — and along with Dinesh Karthik — 45 not out off 18 balls — helped KKR beat CSK by six wickets.

Gill started slow, dealing mostly in singles, and the occasional boundaries. Amid the ones and twos, his class came to the forefront when he half-swept Harbhajan Singh for a boundary.

Read: Gill, Narine, Karthik star in dominant KKR win

From the 15th over, Gill was a different player. 

The right-hander smashed K.M. Asif for two sixes, which turned the tide for KKR. The first was a pull over deep square leg and the second, an upper cut. His mannerisms and temperament had shades of Virat Kohli — his idol. 

“I am pleased to have been promoted to No 4 today. Karthik and I thought we needed to rotate the strike in the middle overs, it was crucial to see off the spinners. We played according to the merit and there was no plan to target Asif. If the balls were there, we went for it,” said Gill, at the post match presentation.

The youngster also credited KKR coaches Jacques Kallis and Simon Katich for his good show. “It has been a great experience and when you are coached by Kallis and Katich, you have lots to learn from them,” added Gill, who became the second India U-19 cricketer to score a half-century this season. 

Prithvi Shaw, his U-19 skipper, scored his maiden fifty against KKR last week.

Gill now has 122 runs in seven games at a strike rate of 137.07.