Kolkata Knight Riders head coach Brendon McCullum wants young Shubman Gill to be part of the team’s leadership group ‘at least in some capacity’ for this edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
And as the 21-year-old gets ready to feature in his third IPL, Gill admits that being part of the leadership group will be an ‘added responsibility’ for him.
“Personally, I don’t really have any specific targets for the season,” Gill told Sportstar during an interaction.
When he broke into the side a couple of years ago, Gill was one of the youngest members of the team and having witnessed those days, he feels that it is his responsibility “to be the voice of the people who are new in the team this year.”
There hasn’t been any cricket in the country for the last six months due to the pandemic and Gill admits that everybody will be ‘on the same page’ when the tournament starts.
“All the teams are practising and preparing really hard to be in form for the IPL. It is a fact that everyone is on the same page as no one had much of a practice – so, it will be a bit challenging for all. So, everyone will be on the same page – there won’t be any difference,” the youngster said.
Last season, Gill was promoted up the batting order during the business end of the tournament. However, he has left it to the team management to decide on his batting position, this time around.
The team has been inside the bio-bubble in Abu Dhabi for close to four weeks now. While it has been challenging, the players are slowly getting used to it.
“It’s our responsibility to stay inside the bio-bubble. That’s the need of the hour. We refresh ourselves by gathering in the team room and playing the games that the team has provided,” Gill said.
– Training with Yuvraj Singh –
Recently, Gill and a few other cricketers from Punjab had long sessions with Yuvraj Singh and now that the former India batsman plans to come out of retirement and play the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy for Punjab. Gill is excited with the prospect.
Shubman Gill during a training session in Abu Dhabi. – KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS
“It will be really beneficial for every player in the Punjab team if we can get any kind of assistance from Yuvi paaji. It will be of great help,” Gill said.
During the session, Yuvraj would feed them home-cooked meals and make them sweat out at his personal gymnasium. He also kept an eye on the fitness levels of the young cricketers during the camps at the PCA Stadium in Mohali.
“We had a one-month session with Yuvi Paaji, where we not only practiced but also had training with him and he guided us through it all,” Shubman said, hoping that his tips would help him during the IPL.
Kolkata Knight Riders will begin its campaign on September 23 when it takes on Mumbai Indians at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
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