After earning his first Test call-up, Shubman Gill said he wants to carry on his stupendous form for the senior team as he did for India A, without worrying about where he gets to bat.
The Punjab batsman replaced KL Rahul as India named a 15-member squad for the two-member Test series against South Africa on Thursday.
“I am in good form. I know I missed out in West Indies (Tests). But this is a big opportunity for me and I want to score as I have been doing recently. A big thanks to the selectors. It will be an honour to don Team India whites,” Gill was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
While Mayank Agarwal is expected to keep his place as an opener, Rohit Sharma has been earmarked to partner him for the South Africa series. Chief selector MSK Prasad gave the Mumbai batsman his backing and said Gill will be a back-up option for both the opener’s slot and in the middle-order.
With Gill behind Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma in the pecking order as opener for Tests, the 20-year-old said he is ready to bat anywhere.
“It will be obviously a big opportunity. I don’t want to think about any slot. I will bat where my team wants me to. If they want me to open I will, if they want me to come down the order, I am ready for that as well,” he added.
In 14 first-class matches, Gill has scored 1443 runs at an average of 72.15 with four centuries and eight fifties to his name. During the 2018-19 Ranji Trophy season, he was the top-scorer for Punjab with 728 runs. He was recently named player of the series after the first-class matches for India A versus West Indies A.
Gill, who starred in India’s 2018 U-19 World Cup triumph, made his international debut earlier this year when he was selected for the One-Day Internationals in New Zealand. But he wasn’t able to cement his place, scoring just 16 runs in two innings. The youngster also said there has been a change in his mindset after being selected for the senior team.
“I’m clear in my head that my game doesn’t change. It’s just the mindset that changes. At the Under-19 level, you are on level footing with every other player, whereas at the senior level, you face a lot of experienced cricketers. I can’t play with the same mindset because playing someone at 125kph is different and someone at 140kph a completely different experience. That is where the Indian Premier League has helped immensely,” he told ESPNCricinfo.
“It’s just about calculating the situations, assessing what the team needs and how your decisions will affect or benefit the team at a certain time. You have to take risks at times. My mindset is such that I don’t think about what will happen I play a certain shot and get out. You have to be calm to make decisions under pressure,” he added.