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IPL 2019 | This Was Definitely My Best Knock in The IPL: Shubman Gill

Cricketnext Staff |April 29, 2019, 10:07 AM IST
IPL 2019 | This Was Definitely My Best Knock in The IPL: Shubman Gill

Andre Russell and Hardik Pandya rightfully hogged most of the headlines after their whirlwind knocks on Sunday night but another telling contribution when Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians faced off came from the bat of Shubman Gill.

The youngster slammed 76 in just 45 balls and was a crucial factor behind KKR finally snapping their six-match losing streak.

"Definitely my best knock in the IPL," said Gill at the post-match press conference. "We were not in a good position coming into this game and it was a must-win game for us. Taking the overall situation into account, can say this was my best knock.

"We were playing with an extra batsman today so we wanted to go hard and be aggressive as we had backup. That support is very important. We lost six matches on the trot and the talk in the dressing room was just that we should start a new streak here on and we'll carry that till the final."

The 19-year-old has mostly batted lower down the order the whole of his IPL career but with KKR not getting enough runs as they would have liked from Sunil Narine upfront, Gill was promoted and the move paid dividends.

It has been a common sentiment that Gill's game is suited more to the top of the batting lineup but the youngster insisted that with Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine doing as well as they have opening the batting there was little scope for him to move up the order.

"Lynn has been opening for so long so we can't push him down the order and Narine has been doing very well too. So, I can't say that I should have been given a chance at the top of the order earlier but I am happy that I have the opportunity now and I capitalised on it," Gill remarked.

For Mumbai, it was quite a tough day on the field as they conceded a mammoth 232/2 with Russell clobbering a 40-ball 80. He came into bat at No.3, took his time to settle and then took the bowlers to the cleaners. Quinton de Kock, standing behind the stumps had the best view of the Jamaican's whirlwind knock and was pretty honest about how he felt about the innings.

"I hated every minute of it," joked de Kock at the post-match press conference. "No, that was a great innings he played, you can't fault him. Can only just appreciate what he has done, not just this innings but the whole IPL. Congrats to him and hopefully he doesn't do it again against us."

Chasing 233 was always going to be a massive ask and the job became tougher when de Kock (0) and Rohit Sharma (12) fell in quick succession. Mumbai were further reduced to 58/4 before Hardik raised their hopes with a 34-ball 91.

De Kock admitted the loss of wickets early in the chase meant Hardik was left with no support and that was the difference in the end.

"We would have wanted couple of less wickets when Kieron (Pollard) and Hardik walked in," de Kock said. "We tried to get off to a good start so that we didn't have to play catch-up cricket at the end. Knowing that this sort of total, if you leave it too late then you will be out of the game anyway so could have gone any way, we could have gotten off to a great start.

"It didn't happen today, obviously there was a collapse and with no one batting with Hardik it meant trouble for us."

Asked if fatigue was a factor behind the bowlers' lacklustre show, De Kock replied in the negative insisting that the team had two days rest prior to the encounter. He further said that he felt the bowlers did a fair job on a good Eden Gardens surface but the Kolkata batsmen were just too good on the day.

"We had a couple of days off so the guys did have their feet well rested. Playing in Kolkata the bowlers are always under pressure," de Kock said. "They have got guys the likes of Chris Lynn, the way Shubman is batting, then Andre Russell they sent him in early and he ended up batting the whole innings.

"There was always pressure going onto the whole bowling unit but I thought we did bowl quite well. They just played some great shots. At the end of the day we didn't bowl as badly as we have in one or two previous games."

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3 South Africa 4196 262
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