Prior to leaving for West Indies as part of the India A team, 19-year-old Mohali lad Shubman Gill had spent two weeks at his home in Mohali and trained under his father Lakhwinder Singh Gill at the nets at IS Bindra PCA Stadium, Mohali. On Monday early morning, Shubman was adjudged the Man of the Series with a total of 218 runs, including his third half-century (69) of the series in the fifth unofficial ODI against West Indies at Collige. The senior Gill was happy with his son’s performance.
“After the series against Sri Lanka A in June, Shubman spent two months at Mohali and prepared according to the conditions in West Indies. The main challenge was small grounds in the West Indies and the wind factor with the ball speed getting slow due to air. He practiced with a wet tennis ball to adjust to the bounce on pitches in West Indies and Daljit Singh, the chief curator of PCA, made sure that Shubman trained on some bouncy wickets in the nets. It feels good to see Shubman winning the Man of the Series award during the five-match unofficial ODI series and we hope that he continues the same form in the three unofficial Test matches against West Indies A team,” said Lakhwinder Singh Gill while speaking to Chandigarh Newsline.
Gill, who had amassed 372 runs in six matches in the ICC U-19 World Cup last year, had scored 728 runs in nine innings for Punjab in 2018-2019 Ranji Trophy season. The youngster, who was named in the Indian team for the New Zealand Tour early this year, had made his ODI debut against New Zealand on January 31 this year. The youngster could only post innings of nine and seven runs in the two ODIs he played in the tour. In this year’s IPL, Shubman scored a total of 296 runs in 14 matches, which included three half-centuries with a highest score of 76 runs. Before the West Indies A Tour, Shubman had played for India A against visitors Sri Lanka A and played a knock of 109 runs in the second unofficial ODI of the series.
“Shubman was a bit disappointed as he could not score much during the two ODIs in New Zealand. But it made him share the dressing room with the Indian team and it meant a lot for him. In the IPL, he scored three half-centuries as an opener and it gave him a lot of confidence. Before the IPL, he had worked on improving his backfoot shots, a thing which helped him in the IPL. The century against Sri Lanka A also gave him confidence ahead of the West Indies A tour,” Lakhwinder Singh Gill said.
Even though the youngster was not named in the Indian team for the upcoming tour to West Indies, the senior Gill knows that Shubman’s only focus will be to score runs. “His focus has been on his game and he knows that his aim is to perform well and give his best,” Lakhwinder Singh Gill said.