When he received the news of his inclusion in the Indian team for the upcoming One Day International (ODI) and T20 series to be held in New Zealand, Shubman Gill was in seventh heaven. Soon after receiving the news, his family and friends began to celebrate. It was a long-expected call for the entire household. But soon, young Shubman shed off the joy and started preparing mentally for the challenge. In a recent chat with the CricketSoccer.com, the young star from Punjab reveals how he dreams to earn a spot in the 2019 World Cup squad.

Here are the excerpts:

CricketSoccer (CS): How big an opportunity it is for you to get selected in the Indian National Team?

Shubman Gill (SG): I am really excited to get the opportunity. The very thought that I would share the dressing room with Virat Kohli is very thrilling. Virat Bhai is my idol. I like the way he handles pressure and expresses himself on the ground. Now, I’ll get the chance to learn from him directly. I will utilise the opportunity to learn from him. I want to return from New Zealand as a better cricketer.

CS: Your primary goal to get into the national team is fulfilled. What target have you set before you next?

SG: Though it’s pretty early to say, but I am dreaming for a spot in the World Cup squad. And if given a chance to play, I am ready to bat at any position despite being an opener. I am quite sure that if I do well for my country in the upcoming tour to New Zealand, I might get an opportunity to be a part of the team in the 2019 World Cup.

CS: In the ongoing Ranji Trophy (the premier domestic tournament in days format in India) you have been in stupendous form with the bat. How much confidence are you expecting to carry forward to New Zealand from here on?

SG: Ranji Trophy is a completely different kind of tournament. Also, there will be a huge difference between the condition in India and New Zealand. In New Zealand, I will be playing with a white ball while back here in India, in the Ranji Trophy, I have scored runs in red ball. But yes, to be among runs is always a big morale booster for any batsman in the world. The Ranji season has been great for me. I am in good nick and hitting the ball well. The confidence of having scored runs on a consistent basis is there. I am definitely a more improved cricketer now than I used to be last year. And domestic cricket has played a big role in it.

CS: Though it was a much-anticipated scheme of things for many, but did you yourself expect to get this call-up?

SG: To be very honest, it was a surprise call-up for me. I was told by a reporter first that I have been selected in the national team. I was not sure if the news was authentic as I have no clue that I will get a chance in the national squad before the World Cup. I thought that if I am to get a call up for the national team, it will happen after the World Cup only. But then when I got the call from BCCI, I was over the moon.

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CS: How are you approaching your preparation for New Zealand?

SG: This is not the first time that I will be playing there. In fact, I have some very fond memories of playing there as I represented my country in the 2018 U-19 World Cup which India won. I have played some good knocks there that makes me confident. But obviously, there will be huge differences between the quality of bowling attacks that I played against last year and that I am going to face this time. But still, I have a clear idea of how the pitches out there going to behave. It will help me a lot.

CS: Whom do you give credit for your career so far?

SG: I am grateful to my father who is my first coach. I am grateful to Rahul Dravid sir, as well. It is Dravid sir, who made me evolve as a cricketer. He had been with me for the last two years – at the U-19 level and then during India ‘A’ tours. He understands my batting really well. He always tells me to get accustomed to any kind of wickets and conditions. My patience has improved a lot and that only because of Dravid sir. I will definitely have some words with him before I go to play in New Zealand. And my father has sacrificed a lot to fulfil my dream of becoming a professional cricketer.  I owe a lot to both of them.

CS: What could be the mantra to get success on New Zealand’s soil?

SG: I don’t think in limited overs cricket, you should follow a particular formula to get success in any particular part of the cricketing world. Yes, in test cricket, you have to adapt very quickly. But limited overs cricket will not allow you so much time. My mantra would be to see the ball and play according to their merit. There will be an extra amount of pace and bounce on the wickets but it will enhance the scope to play shots. I am quite confident to do well.



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