Dubai, September 27: Shubman Gill guided Kolkata Knight Riders to a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad with a mature 62-ball 70 in an IPL 2020 match here on Saturday (September 26). As always, Gill pleasing to watch but he added another dimension to his batting - power hitting.
The elegant right-hander, who opens the innings for Kolkata Knight Riders, said he has been practicing to add that angle to his batting for a while now.
"I've practiced a lot in the past couple of years, the power hitting. I think it was really important for our team to get this win. We bowled really well, it had to be backed by our batting performance. Eoin Morgan was batting so well. There weren't any long conversations. As an opener it is my job to see the team through. I think the ball wasn't spinning that much and it was easier to hit down the ground," said Gill.
It came as little surprise that Gill was later adjudged man of the match.
Eoin Morgan, who partnered Gill in the match-winning fourth-wicket stand, lavished praise on him. "I didn't have to tell Gill a great deal to be honest, beautiful to watch. Lovely, languid. He's a good kid, he's quite hungry to learn regardless of his successes," said Morgan, the World Cup winning England captain.
Kolkata Knight Riders captain Dinesh Karthik said it is always heartening to see youngsters deliver. Apart from Gill, the Knight Riders also gave opportunity to young pacers Shivam Mavi and Kamlesh Nagarkoti, architects of India's Under-19 title triumph in 2018.
Both Kamlesh and Shivam had joined the KKR ahead of IPL 2018 but could not play two full seasons because of injuries but the Kolkata side struck with them. Karthik was just happy to see the patience paying rich dividends.
"We have been working hard and guess we deserve the win. I think the advantage for us is having all-rounders. The fact that we've been able to groom youngsters, we've stayed with them. It was a bit emotional for Kamlesh. We stuck with him and people ask where he is. It feels good as a captain. I want to make sure Gill is having an easy journey with no pressure. I think McCullum is very clear that the best batters bat at the top of the order," said Karthik.