Shubman Gill had a poor game against MI © AFP
Shubman Gill had a poor game against MI © AFP

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) picked Shubman Gill, one of the stars from India’s Under-19 World Cup 2018 winning campaign, during Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 player auction. Gill, touted as an upcoming superstar for India by many, did not get much chance to show his talent for KKR in the ongoing season till their match against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Thursday. The youngster from Punjab went to score his first IPL fifty that night. Speaking to Firstpost, Gill said: “Pressure … Batting pe jaane se pehle hi hota hai sara (pressure is there only before I go out to bat). Once I go in to bat, I forget everything like what my family members would think, whether the crowd is watching or not, at that time. There is just the willow, ball and the situation, according to which I have to bat.”

About his stint with KKR, Gill said: “The one change is that people have started recognising me more. And the other changes have motivated me to work even harder. There is more hunger and if I go below this (level), I myself won’t be able to digest it. So there is even more motivation to perform well.”

He also opened up about difference between IPL and Under-19 cricket: “When we were playing in the U-19 World Cup, we got the idea that if in U-19, the pressure level and crowd factor is like this then how much more would it be in the IPL. Like in our first match, against RCB, the stadium was jam-packed and it was an altogether different experience. Because before this (in the past), I was the part of crowd, not a part of the playing eleven or squad. It was a new experience for me. I felt really good. It was a challenge for me to cope up with all this. But once I got into the playing eleven and went out to bat, I just shut off. Nothing affects me, I forget the crowd and all other stuff. When I go out to bat, it’s just the bat, ball and the situation in my mind.”