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CHANDIGARH: There is an uncanny similarity in the way Shubman Gill and Virat Kohli play their shots. Both can hit a ball pitched just outside off through extra cover and mid-wicket. And still frames of the shots seem like mirror images.
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Needless to say, Shubman is a “massive” fan of Virat. “My all-time favourite is Sachin Tendulkar. When I started watching cricket, he was a legend; he is still a legend and will remain one forever. But now my favourite is Virat (Kohli). I like his style, the way he handles pressure. I would like to try and emulate him,” Shubman had told TOI two years back, revealing how he watches Virat’s strokeplay on YouTube and tries to copy them in the nets.
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During his unbeaten 102-run knock on Tuesday, Shubman showed another facet of his game that is quite similar to Virat’s. The Indian team was in trouble at 166/5. Shubman had already crossed his fifty. The interesting part of his batting effort was his resolve to not throw it away and remain there till the end, another attribute he says he has picked up from the resolute Kohli.
The knock was very special for Shubman. “I will definitely rank this innings pretty high. It is right there among the best ones that I have played, especially since it came in a big match against Pakistan,” Shubman told TOI. “The way the wicket was helping the spinners… it was not so conducive for shot-making, I adapted my game to the situation,” he added.
Father Lakhwinder Singh, who rarely blinked an eye while watching his son play, was ecstatic with his son’s performance. “Shubman has always been dedicated to the game. I am very happy and proud of my son’s performance in the ongoing World Cup,” he said.
So far in the World Cup, Shubman has scored 341 runs in four innings at a staggering average of 170.5. His strike-rate while scoring those runs has been a mindboggling 117.29. He has crossed the 50-run mark in all the four innings, converting the one against Pakistan into a hundred.
“I am looking forward to playing against Australia in the final. Hopefully, I can get a substantial score in that match,” he said. Shubman was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping Rs 1.8 crore in the IPL auction on Saturday.
Asked about his preferred format – the longer form, ODIs or T20s – Shubman said, “Nowadays, cricket is all about how well you adapt. I would like to play and be successful in all three formats.”