IPL 2018: KKR’s Shubman Gill reveals Rahul Dravid asked him to avoid aerial shots

Shubman Gill IPL 2018, India U19 coach Rahul Dravid
Shubman Gill - Image Credit - Hindustan Times
  • KKR batsman Shubman Gill credits Under-19 coach Rahul Dravid for helping him play in a mature manner
  • Shubman was the player of the tournament at the Under-19 World Cup in January which India won. He was later purchased by KKR for 1.6 crore
  • During his earlier days in the Indian side, Gill was dismissed frequently playing lofted shots, something Dravid noticed and helped him improve on

Kolkata Knight Riders have had a mixed start to their IPL 2018 season, with 3 wins in 6 matches, the 2-time champions have 6 points and are still in a very good position to qualify for the play-off stage. KKR were pretty impressive in keeping the core of their team from previous seasons but what was most noticeable about their strategy at the auction was the fact that they managed to purchase some of the most talented youngsters in India. Apart from the pace duo of Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, KKR also managed to pick up Shubman Gill after his breathtaking performance in the Under-19 World Cup back in January.

For a good strike-rate, you don’t need to hit balls in the air

Shubman Gill was named the player of the tournament following India’s win at the Under-19 World Cup. He scored a total of 372 runs which included 4 fifties and one hundred. His average by the end of the tournament was a whopping 124 with a smashing strike-rate of 112.38. Unfortunately for Gill, even though he has been part of the KKR playing 11 in the past few matches, the opportunities have been very little for him given that unlike the under-19 World Cup, he is batting much lower down the order, which gives him very little time to get his eye in. However, there is no doubt that Shubman will be a player to watch out for in the future. His talent is immense and looking at the start he has had to his career, one can see him achieving big things in the future.

Shubman Gill recently spoke to sports presenter Gautam Bhimani, where he spoke about all things cricket. He was really appreciative of Rahul Dravid, India’s under-19 coach during the World Cup. Speaking about Dravid’s influence on his game, Gill said,”It all started in 2016 December, when our Asia Cup team was made and we went to Sri Lanka. Out of the 5 games there, I got out to the lofted soft thrice between the score of 60-80. At that time Rahul Dravid didn’t say anything. Our next series was against England in Mumbai and again was I was dismissed twice playing a lofted shot.

Then sir came to me in the nets and told me not to his a single lofted shot in the nets. So what I noticed is that it didn’t affect my strike-rate which was still over 110, that too without aerial shots.”

Shubham Gill went on to score 140 in the next match, the innings didn’t see him playing a single lofted shot. He further spoke about Dravid’s words of wisdom. Gill said,” After that Dravid sir came up to me and said, even without playing a single aerial shot you can score runs at the good rate, than why do you have to hit lofted shots.

So it was a booster for me. If I can play at such a good strike-rate without hitting the ball in the air than why should I hit lofted shots and risk my wicket.”

Rahul Dravid doesn’t complicate things, keeps it simple

Rahul Dravid played 164 test matches for India and over 300 ODI matches, hence there is no dearth of experience. His role as the coach of the Under-19 Indian team was highly appreciated and there is no doubt that a gentle and classy player like him can be of a huge help to youngsters in this country. Talking about his coaching style, Shubman said,”He doesn’t burden you too much with the analysis. He just tells you 1-2 things that too after a lot of analysis. He doesn’t pinpoint things and breaks the news gently. His suggestions are of great help.”

Having played just 3 matches this season, Shubman will be looking forward to more game time in the upcoming season but there is no doubt that he is a player that one should keep an eye on in the years to come. He could very well turn out to be the next superstar in cricket given his abilities with the bat.

WATCH: Rahul Dravid told me not to hit the ball in the air РShubman Gill


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