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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Cricket » How does Gill handle pressure of the immense fame and success?

How does Gill handle pressure of the immense fame and success?

Source: PTI
May 05, 2023 18:50 IST
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IMAGE: Shubman Gill has become a key member of the Indian team. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Instant stardom in Indian cricket has often proved to be fickle and unnerving for talented individuals but Shubman Gill believes that having the right people around helped him immensely in maintaining the balance required in his heady journey.

Considered the next megastar of Indian batting after the peerless Virat Kohli, the 23-year-old Punjab man has enjoyed a dream four months in international cricket between December to March, and is one of the architects of Gujarat Titans' consistent run for the second IPL season in a row.

For a young man who has achieved a lot of fame and adulation, how does he handle success while having a balanced approach towards life?

"I think it has a lot to do with the upbringing and the friends around me. I don't have many 'yes people' (hanger ons) around me. I have more friends around me who are challenging my decisions, whatever they may be on field or off field. So that really helps," Gill told PTI in an exclusive interview.


He is still very young but in Gujarat Titans' set-up, Gill is already a senior member. And he is enjoying the responsibility that comes with being a sounding board in a high-stakes IPL team.

"I think I can give my inputs on how the batter might be thinking right now," said the man, who has already played 110 senior level T20 games.

He believes that in crunch situations, a bowler has a lot on his plate, and there he comes in.

"It is important sometimes in that situation as a bowler, there is so much going on -- you have to see the field, you have to see where you want to bowl that sometimes you don't focus on what the batter is trying to do, or where he is trying to hit you. So I think those inputs are important."

He has scored seven international hundreds across formats through the last season with a staggering 65 plus average after 24 ODI games. In T20Is, which once wasn't considered his strongest suit, he smashed a hundred and enjoys a 165-plus strike-rate for India in the shortest format.

IMAGE: Shubman Gill has become a key member for the Gujarat Titans. Photograph: BCCI

‘Switch between formats is more mental than technical’ 

Having played all three formats, Gill feels the switch is more mental rather than technical.

"Different formats do require different preparations but I think preparation is more mental than technical. For me, personally, I feel I have the technique for all formats but it is important to have that mental switch as to when to play what game and when to play a situation. It is more mental than technical," he said.

Just like his Team India senior KL Rahul, Gill is also of the opinion that strike-rate is governed by match situations and, at times, can be an "over-rated" aspect, if one doesn't always factor in the other variables involved in T20s.

"I think strike-rate does have importance in T20. The more you will score, the more cushion your bowlers will have. Even if you are chasing a higher total, strike rate does play an important role. But, especially looking at this year, low scoring games have been difficult in chases.

"Strike rate is definitely important but it's a bit over-rated, because, as a batter, you should be able to play in all situations and conditions."

For him, flexibility is the key.

"You should not have a set pattern for your game. You should be able to break your game and play according to the situation that may require you to play at a 110 strike-rate, or at a 200 strike-rate. As a batter, you should be able to manoeuvre between conditions and situations." 

IMAGE: Shubman Gill enjoys playing under Hardik Pandya. Photograph: BCCI

‘He is a very open captain’

That is why he feels comfortable and secure in the Gujarat Titans line-up and loves Hardik Pandya's style of leadership.

"I feel very comfortable in my role that I am playing at Gujarat Titans. I think it has a lot to do with the team environment we have here.

"All of us, collectively as a team, are playing really well, so that obviously helps you as an individual to grow and express yourself."

Being open to ideas and giving freedom to his teammates make Hardik stand out as a captain, according to Gill.

"I think he is a very open captain. Like I said many times, he gives you the freedom as a player to play how you want to play the game."

IMAGE: Shubman Gill will have an important role to play in the upcoming WTC final. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Gill’s role in the WTC final 

Come June, and he will have a big role to play in the World Test Championship final against Australia at the Oval in London.

The defeat against New Zealand in the 2021 WTC final will be a motivating factor for the team, he feels.

"I think that is going to be a really important five days for us. We have worked really hard as a team over the last couple of years, having played the last WTC final in Southampton against New Zealand and having that result not go our way, and that is really motivating us.

"I am really looking forward to go to England and play against Australia," he signed off.

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