Shubman Gill credits Dravid for his batting evolution

Pandya and Rahul. Image GettyMore

Sunday morning was like the start of any other day for Shubman Gill.

"He is a young guy whose batting I like to watch". There are no visa problems going to New Zealand. Nonetheless, his inclusion in the squad on merit basis would be a big morale booster for the teenager, who emerged as a star for the U-19 Indian team in their World Cup triumph past year.

Vijay Shankar responded with a match-winning 87 off 80 deliveries against New Zealand-A - the target was 309 - in the first one-dayer at Mount Maunganui.

"As I have done well there, I can say that there isn't much adjustment needed in the technique".

While Shankar will join the team before the start of the second One Day International (ODI) in Adelaide and will be a part of the squad for the ODI series in Australia and the tour to New Zealand, Gill has been picked only for the ODI and T20I series in New Zealand.

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Chasing a stiff 167 from 20 overs for victory in March last year, the 27-year-old had laboured to 17 from 19 balls before his statemate Dinesh Karthik bailed him and India out with a quick-fire cameo that culminated in a last-ball six. On the field, the legendary MS Dhoni returns to these shores as part of India's 16-man squad. "We used to sit and think or discuss 'How will worldwide cricket be?' And he has played with us, so watching him succeed we also get the confidence that we can do it as well". Thus, the prodigy batsman can make most of his experience of playing in New Zealand conditions. At first, we all would feel enamoured by him but he made us comfortable and whenever we faced a issue in our batting, he would listen to us and also point out if something is not right. Our coaches and seniors really helped me. In the next match, he made 148 as Punjab almost pulled off a chase of 338 in the fourth innings.

Gill has been rewarded for his consistent performances with the bat in Ranji Trophy and India A matches.

That fact may also have to do with the new dimension to his game that he added during the season with Kolkata Knight Riders.

Pandya and Rahul's recent appearance on Indian talk show "Koffee with Karan", during which the former detailed how he bragged to his parents about losing his virginity, created a storm in their homeland. "I think batting at No. 7 was new to me, and I learnt a lot of things", Gill says. First when we were having nets with KKR, and it was the first big T20 tournament I was playing, I used to hit every ball. The messages started pouring in and I rushed to tell my father.

Talking about the call-up, Gill said, "It was a surprise call-up for me". "When you are younger and play with people who are four or five years older, it comes with that".

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