Shubman Gill made a name for himself in the 2018 ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand and since then nothing has been the same for the Punjab youngster.
Gill finished as the highest run-getter for India in their victorious campaign last year and was subsequently snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a hefty fee and till now, the owners would say that he has justified the price tag just fine.
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The 19-year-old, who is predominantly a top-order batsman, had to adjust his game accordingly for KKR, who used him as a finisher in IPL 2018 and despite the uncertainty, he finished with 203 runs from 13 games including a classy fifty against eventual champions Chennai Super Kings.
Since then, he has had a breakout season in the Ranji Trophy and made his senior India debut in New Zealand and this year, his teammates feel that the Punjab opener will surprise a few teams in the IPL.
"Shubman I think, between last year and this he has showed the world what he can do. He debuted in New Zealand not long ago but I think this year he can have a breakout season without putting too much pressure on him. He can bat anywhere in the order and I think he's going to take some teams by surprise," Chris Lynn told India Today.
Robin Uthappa, on the other hand, said that Gill has a very level head on his shoulders and is the next big thing in Indian cricket.
"Shubman has got a very level head on his shoulders and is very sorted in his mind, he knows what he wants to do and how he wants to approach his game. He's a hard-working lad and is someone who is willing to put in the hard yards. He is someone who knows he is talented, is probably a prodigee and the next big thing in Indian cricket but he still has a very firm head on his shoulders."
"He is a very humble kid, very well brought up. A lot of credit must be given to his parents. Coming from that part of the country and to be able to be that humble and that aware of himself at that age is fantastic," Uthappa said.
And, indeed it might be the year for Gill as he is expected to bat up the order and he would be hoping to grab his chances and push for a spot in the India squad post the 2019 World Cup.