10 Interesting facts that you should know about Shubman Gill

He shot to fame with 418 runs at 104.50 and was the Player of the Tournament in the U19 World Cup.

Shubman Gill India U19
Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Right from age-group cricket, to List A and Ranji Trophy cricket, to Under-19 World Cup and Indian Premier League (IPL) and now to the Indian team – Shubman Gill has seen a rapid ascent in his career graph. At a very young age, he has achieved several laurels and looks set for bigger things. This highly talented batsman was a largely unknown commodity until he played the junior World Cup in 2018.

He shot to fame with 418 runs at 104.50 and was the Player of the Tournament in the U19 World Cup. The youngster is a terrific runner between the wickets and is a live wire on the field. He has got a strong bottom-hand and has got all kinds of cricketing shots in his repertoire.

Gill, at times even eclipsed the team’s skipper Prithvi Shaw with his sheer talent and hard work. The 19-year-old surely has got a long way to go and could well represent India for many more years to come.

Here the ten facts that one must know about Shubman Gill:

1. Born on 8 September 1999

Shubman was born on 8 September 1999 to Lakhwinder Singh and Keart Gill in a small town named Fazilka in Punjab. He developed a keen interest in cricket at a very young age. His father is an agriculturalist and had a huge role in developing Shubman into the cricketer that he is today. It is said that as a kid, he never liked any toy other than the cricket bat.

2. The sacrifice

Lakhwinder Singh, a cricket enthusiast himself, wanted to play the game professionally when he was young. But lack of opportunities nipped his dream in the bud. But, he didn’t let the same happen with his son and became his first cricket coach. Although he was not a professional cricketer, such is Lakhwinder Singh’s cricketing nous that could give any coach a run for his money.

As the kid developed his interest in the sport, Lakhwinder helped him take his game to the next level. He hired help on the farm to give about 500 to 700 throwdowns per day. The boy was made to bat with a stump so that he could middle the ball better.

He was also made to play on a charpoy where the ball skids off. This helped his adept to playing fast bowlers well. In 2007, Lakhwinder moved his family from Chak Khere Wala – a village in Fazilka district – to Mohali for better cricketing facilities. Mohali was around 300km away from Lakhwinder’s village. Shubman to date consults his father for advice whenever in need.

3. Tough time balancing cricket and studies

Shubman surely didn’t want to let this sacrifice by his father go in vain. He practised for about four to five hours each day. His routine was to eat, gym, practice, yoga and sleepHence, he had a lot of trouble coping with academics.

He studied at the Manav Mangal Smart School in Mohali. His nickname is Shubhi and he also has an elder sister named Shahneel Kaur Gill.

4. Terrific show in domestic cricket

In 2014, Gill scored 351 runs in Punjab’s inter-district U16 tournament. He then went on to hit a double century in his U16 debut for Punjab in the Vijay Merchant Trophy. Soon, he made his List A debut in the 2016-17 Vijay Hazare Trophy and made his first-class debut in 2017-18 Ranji Trophy against Bengal.

Gill hit a half-century in this match and followed it with his maiden century in the next game against Services. The youngster won the BCCI award for Best Junior Cricketer in consecutive years in 2013-14 and 2014-15. He starred in India U19’s win at home against England in the youth ODIs scoring 351 runs in 4 innings.

India then toured England, whitewashed the hosts 5-0 and Gill was the top scorer again with 278 runs in 4 innings. By 1 January 2019, Gill scored 990 runs in just 14 first-class innings and reached 1,000 runs in his fifteenth innings.

5. The U19 World Cup 2018

Rewarding these brilliant performances, the selectors picked Gill for the U19 World Cup 2018. He was one of the most important members of the side. Except for the final, he hit fifty or above in all the other matches. His match-winning 102 not out against Pakistan drew praises from Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid.

The right-hander won the Man of the Match award thrice in the tournament and was also the Man of the Series. He was appointed the vice-captain of the team for the mega event back then. The ICC also named him the rising star of the squad.

6. The IPL chance

In the IPL 2018 auction, the right-hander was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders. The franchise brought him for ₹1.8 crores and he made his debut against the Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Eden Gardens. Gill played a total of 13 games in the season and in 11 innings, he scored 203 runs at an average of 34 and strike rate of 146. He registered the highest score of 57 runs in the tournament.

7. Idolises Sachin and Virat

Shubman Gill idolises Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Although Sachin remains his all-time favourite, Kohli is his favourite from the current cricketers. “Obviously, my all-time favourite is Sachin Tendulkar. When I started watching cricket, he was a legend, he is still a legend and will remain one forever. But, now my favourite is Virat Kohli. I like his style, the way he carries himself and how he handles pressure. I would like to try and emulate him. It will be very difficult,” he said as quoted by Sportskeeda.

8. The superstition

Shubman believes in superstitions and there is a red handkerchief that he carries for every game that he plays. The story behind this unique superstition is that he carried a white handkerchief to one of the Under-16 games and scored a century. Prior to that, he was struggling with a string of low scores. But, since that got dirty, he carried a red one and scored one more ton. Since then, the notion has continued.

9. An opportunity to share the Indian dressing room

In order to let them play domestic cricket, the BCCI released Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj during the Windies series in 2018. They were replaced by Shubman Gill and Manish Pandey who were picked as the substitute fielders. Hence, the 19-year-old had a great opportunity to get a sense of the Indian dressing room and interact with some of the legends of the game. When he was informed about the same, Gill first thought that it was a prank call.

10. Only cricketer to average over 100 in Youth ODIs

Shubman is the only cricket who averages over 100 in Youth ODIs. In 16 games, this classy batsman had an opportunity to bat 15 times and scored 1,149 runs including four centuries. He averages 104.45 and has the highest score of 160.

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