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Accepting the Need to Focus Harder at the Highest Level is Crucial: Shubman Gill

The youngster will be hoping to get the nod for his Test debut in the home series against Bangladesh, where the second Test will be the historic Day/Night Test at the Eden Gardens which is home to his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

Cricketnext Staff |November 7, 2019, 9:50 AM IST
Accepting the Need to Focus Harder at the Highest Level is Crucial: Shubman Gill

Young batsman Shubman Gill says sharing the dressing room with senior players, including skipper Virat Kohli, has helped him learn pace the innings.

Gill, who has scored a bagful of runs in the domestic circuit, has been named in the squad for the two-Test series against Bangladesh.

"I get to learn a lot. When you share a dressing room with the big players, you look at how they prepare ahead of a match. Before going in to bat how they do they focus, what do they do (and) how they pace their innings in match situations," Gill said at a promotional event in Mumbai.

The top-order batsmen who made quite the impression in the IPL when he opened the innings for KKR against the eventual champions Mumbai Indians earlier in the year with a 45-ball-76 believes the transition from U19, India A to the Indian team is all about the mental preparation and being focused.

“Mentally, the big change is that I have to understand is the difference between the different levels of cricket,” Gill explained.

“Obviously, at the under-19 level and India ‘A’ level, you will still get a lot of loose balls. But at the international level, it gets tighter and that is when one needs greater focus. I also tell myself that I won’t be able to score as easily as I did at the under-19 level. That acceptance is important. After that, pacing the innings well once set is also an important learning. The game doesn’t need to change but the mind does.”

The youngster will be hoping to get the nod for his Test debut in the home series against Bangladesh, where the second Test will be the historic Day/Night Test at the Eden Gardens which is home to his IPL franchise Kolkata Knight Riders.

Gill, who has managed 16 runs in two ODIs he has played, was a part of India's Test squad against South Africa as a reserve opener.

“I know that I can’t expect from myself that I will get a hundred every time I go out. I will get runs and will get to settle down. Obviously things take time. But it was a very good experience for me. We had won the series. And the wickets were tough to bat on. So I learnt to adapt in those conditions and absorb pressure.”

“Just to be with this Test team, the way India has been playing in the World Test Championships and across all formats, to be a part of this side is a big thing for me,” he adds.

The ride will not be an easy one and Gill is more than aware of that and admits that Rahul Dravid’s presence in the background has only done him good.

“Dravid sir’s influence has been immense. I met him for the first time in 2016 and I have been in regular touch with him since then. He has seen us right from the start and he knows our game inside out. His big advice has always been to try and play like the best version of yourself, don’t try to become like someone else.”

(With various inputs)

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