New Delhi: Rising star Shubman Gill says he is ready follow his U-19 captain Prithvi Shaw into the Indian team but is patiently waiting for his big break.
With not many places up for grabs in the Indian team across formats, the stylish batsman from Punjab might have to wait a little longer than expected.
The 19-year-old is not losing sleep over it and is busy piling up the runs in whatever format he plays. He scored runs for KKR in the IPL, has performed for India A and has shown supreme form in the ongoing Deodhar Trophy.
In the presence of India and domestic veterans, Gill made the only hundred of the tournament in a high-pressure chase to take India C to the final on Saturday.
His friend and U-19 skipper Shaw had already set a high benchmark but the highly talented Gill is up for the challenge.
"I am ready. I did not get the opportunity against the West Indies but I might get one in the next series. I am just happy scoring runs," a supremely confident Gill told PTI when asked about the time frame he has set for himself as Shaw has already made his Test debut.
India's U-19 stars become subjects of immense scrutiny once they deliver in popular events like World Cup. Shaw and Gill are experiencing that at the moment.
Asked how he deals with such high expectations, Gill said: "All these things (expectations) are there in your mind before you get into the middle. It is all about scoring runs when you get on the field. I don't think what will happen when I get out.
"Yes, they all recognise you for your U-19 days but we have to keep performing the same way at the higher levels to get a chance."
Gill recently turned 19 but he batted with remarkable poise and maturity on way to a match-winning hundred at the Feroz Shah Kotla here on Thursday. The unbeaten 90-run stand with the hard-hitting Suryakumar Yadav was also a lesson in partnership building.
Gill paced his innings beautifully and in the presence of three national selectors, grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Does he talk to anyone on building the innings or does it come naturally to him?
"I don't talk to anyone on pacing the innings. Only my father, who is also my coach, advises me. Plus, we see lot of international cricket on television these days. I try to understand that and try to do the same in the middle.
"It is also about belief. That belief comes from practice and when you replicate that in a match, you get more confident about your game."
He forged two important partnerships with Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav to see India C through.
"It feels good to take the team into the final. Ishan and Surya bhai also batted well. It was important to convert loose balls on this wicket. If you dont' do that, it creates more pressure. The talk all through was to find an odd boundary and rotate the strike as the asking rate was constantly around six an over," added Gill....