Shubman Gill

18-year old batsman Shubman Gill has attracted a lot fo attention in the IPL. Further adding to his reputation was a match-winning century against Pakistan in the semifinal of the Under-19 World Cup.

He was picked for Rs 1.8 crore during the IPL auction by the Kolkata Knight Riders. So far, Gill has scored 129 runs from eight matches in the 2018 IPL. His unbeaten half-century against Chennai Super Kings helped KKR to victory and coach Jacques Kallis was quite impressed.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill

“It’s been a slightly frustrating week in which we produced one of our best and most clinical performances of the competition and then followed it up with one of the most disappointing. There were so many aspects of the win against Chennai that were impressive but the calmness and clear-thinking really stood out for me. At the halfway point of their innings, it seemed highly likely that CSK would set a target of 200+ on a perfect batting wicket but the spinners pulled it back superbly, all three of them delivering dot balls and preventing boundaries at crucial times,” said Kallis.

While chasing 178, KKR were 40/2 when Gill took to the crease. He and skipper Dinesh Karthik played a knock of 57 complete with six boundaries and two sixes. Inevitably, KKR defeated CSK but lost to Mumbai Indians. However, Kallis was full of praise for the youngster.

“We also lost a couple of early wickets but, once again, we stayed calm and played clinical cricket. It gave an opportunity to Shubman Gill to bat higher up the order and he took it in some style. We were very clear in our management of his first experience in the IPL – we wanted to ease him in gradually rather than throw him into the deep end with great expectations,” he added.

As a result of their 13-run loss to MI, KKR were pushed down to No.4 in the 2018 IPL Points Table. The Sunrisers Hyderabad are all but certain to book a place in the playoffs, and Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab are closing in too. KKR need to win against Mumbai Indians today, to book a playoff berth.

“We had the opportunity to cement our place in the top four and really push hard for a top two finish, against Mumbai, and we should have won the game. I believe it was a case of us losing it rather than Mumbai winning it,” Kallis said.

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