Shubman Gill keen on staying in the moment

The ability to stay in the present is what has helped Shubman Gill to gloss over selection concerns and remain focussed on scoring runs.

In the eyes of many, Shubman Gill should have been in the Caribbean currently, turning out for the Indian National team.   -  N. SUDARSHAN

In the eyes of many, Shubman Gill should have been in the Caribbean currently, turning out for the Indian National team.

A Man-of-the-Series performance in limited overs for India-A in the West Indies last month should have helped the teenaged prodigy ease into the senior set-up at the start of a new World Cup cycle.

But Gill himself doesn’t seem too perturbed by his non-selection. He quickly tided over the disappointment by smashing an unbeaten double century (204 n.o.) in a four-day game against the Windies.

At 19 years and 334 days, he became the youngest Indian to do so, breaking Gautam Gambhir’s record (20 years 124 days).

“When I go out to bat, I don’t focus on the results or where those results will take me next,” he said on the eve of the Duleep Trophy opener here. “I just focus on the series and I try and make use of the opportunity. Things like pressure and expectations never come to my head. The only things that matter are 'how to tackle these bowlers and how am I going to score runs on this wicket.’

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Staying in the moment

This ability to stay in the present is what helped him he revealed. “In the one-dayers, I was getting runs but not big ones. I played four matches and got three fifties. So ahead of the four-day match, I just shut out all thoughts [non-selection etc.]. I got out first ball in the first innings. So I told myself ‘next chance I have to make it big’. It was the perfect opportunity [to come good] because we were 14 for three.”

“I think overall it was a good experience to play in West Indies. The wickets were not as good as we expected. So the target was to see off tough periods. I was getting runs [in the second innings] and it was important to maintain the momentum and not get carried away. That’s what I did.”

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Team over self

In matches such as these, Gill stressed that the presence of a bunch of India hopefuls doesn’t lead to situation where the members lose sense of the collective and focus instead on individual efforts.

“We are all pushing [for a place] but I won’t say it’s like a competition because when we are playing for India ‘A’ we do not discuss our personal ambitions. We just discuss how to approach the matches on hand.”

This trait will come in handy in the Duleep Trophy where teams are no longer divided zone-wise. He will also have the added responsibility of captaining a side. “I don’t see captaincy as a burden. I just want to enjoy it. It’s really important for me to make sure that players are switched on so that not every time they think of personal goals. Let’s see how it goes.”

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