June 2, 2023

Shubman Gill is being seen by many as the future star of Indian cricket and there are enough reasons for the same.The youngster has been making waves since his days in age group cricket and was one of the star performers in India’s U-19 World Cup win in 2018. Since then the Punjab lad’s graph has only gone up. An IPL contract with Kolkata Knight Riders, and a good show for the India A team landed Gill an India berth and he went on to play two ODIs during India’s tour of New Zealand earlier this year. Comparisons are already there with Virat Kohli but in Rahul Dravid, the youngster has the perfect mentor who could guide him through this crucial phase in his career.

“Rahul sir has been my coach since the India U-19 days and then India A. There is one basic advice from him which I always keep in mind. He would tell me that come what may, never change your basic game that got you success,” said Gill, who became the youngest Indian to score a first-class double hundred earlier this month.

“I would certainly rate my double hundred against the West Indies A as one of my best knocks in red ball (cricket) considering the opposition, surface and match situation,” Gill said.

Gill also top-scored for India A in the unofficial one-day series against the same opposition, accumulating 218 runs, including three half-centuries.

But what happens if the natural game doesn’t deliver the desired results sometime? “He (Dravid) said that if we want to get technically more solid, all the adjustments that we make should be within the confines of our basic game,” elaborated the right-hander, who won the BCCI’s Best Junior Cricketer award for consecutive years in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

“Rahul sir told me that if I change my game, it won’t be natural anymore and may not provide success. His focus has always been on the mental make-up while we face the challenge posed by the best,” the Punjab lad said .

The front-foot cover drives by Gill seem like a carbon copy of a Kohli stroke — minimal back-lift and lot of wrists involved.

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