Shubman excited to be part of Indian dressing room

Shubman Gill and Manish Pandey have been called in to substitute Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj, who have been released from the Test squad to take part in Vijay Hazare Trophy.

Shubman Gill was one of the key members of India's U-19 World Cup-winning side.   -  AFP

It came as a surprise for Shubman Gill when he received a call from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday evening. The Punjab cricketer had just returned from practice and was asked to join the Indian team in Hyderabad on Sunday.

The youngster initially thought it was a prank call, but eventually realised that he was drafted in the side as a substitute for Hanuma Vihari, who was released from national duty in the ongoing Test against the Windies and has been asked to play the Vijay Hazare Trophy knockouts.

"It is a great feeling. To be a part of the Indian dressing room itself is a big thing and I hope to learn a lot from the seniors," Shubman told Sportstar.

Manish Pandey has also been brought in to the side, after Mohammed Siraj too was released to take part in Vijay Hazare knockouts.

Shubman, one of the key members of India's U-19 World Cup-winning side, is also a big fan of India captain Virat Kohli. And when he joins the team, he wants to learn a thing or two from the India captain. "He is my favourite cricketer and I really look up to him. I will try and learn a few things from him when I get to meet him. I am really looking forward to it," the Punjab cricketer said.

Having proved his mettle for Punjab in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Shubman is confident that this stint with the Indian team will help him immensely in the season. "With the Ranji Trophy coming in, I want to deliver the goods for Punjab and play to my strength. These few days with the Indian team will certainly boost my confidence. I want to soak in every moment of it," Shubman, who also had a good run with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League, said.

Every cricketer hopes to make it to the national side someday or the other, and for Shubman, here is an opportunity to rub shoulders with the stars and also learn a thing or two.