New Delhi : India opener Shubman Gill believes the learnings he has received from playing under great leaders are going to help him a lot when he leads Gujarat Titans in the 2024 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Gill was recently announced as captain of Gujarat, the IPL 2022 winning team, after his predecessor for the last two seasons, Hardik Pandya was traded back to five-time winners Mumbai Indians. Captaining Gujarat in IPL 2024 will be Gill’s first major assignment as a leader in senior men’s cricket.
“We all know captainship comes with a lot of things, and commitment is one of them. Discipline is one of them. Hard work is one of them. Loyalty is one of them. Because I’ve played under great leaders and have learned a lot from them, those learnings that I have had from their experience playing under them is gonna help me a lot in this IPL,” said Gill in a video posted by the franchise on its social media accounts.
Gill, 24, began his IPL career with Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018 and was released by the two-time champions ahead of the IPL 2022 auction, where he was picked by Gujarat. In his first season with GT, where they won the trophy under Hardik’s leadership, Gill made 483 runs in 16 games at an average of 34.50 and strike-rate of 132.33, including four half-centuries.
Gill went on to become the leading run-scorer in IPL 2023, making a whopping 890 runs in 17 matches at an average of 59.33 and strike-rate of 157.80, including three centuries and four fifties, as Gujarat finished as runners-up.
He feels there are more learnings in store for him as leader of the Gujarat side alongside experienced names like Kane Williamson, Rashid Khan among others. “We have great leaders in our team, be it Kane (Williamson) or be it Rashid (Khan) bhai or be it (Mohammed) Shami bhai, or even David (Miller), or even Wriddhi (Saha).”
“So, I think it’s gonna be great. Obviously, there are gonna be a lot of learnings along the way, which would be my experience as a captain. I see a lot of people making great memories.”
Gill’s previous leadership experiences have been being the deputy to skipper Prithvi Shaw during the victorious Indian campaign in the 2018 Men’s U19 World Cup in New Zealand. At the senior level, he captained India Blue in 2019-20 Duleep Trophy and India C side in Deodhar Trophy during the same season, apart from leading India-A on tour of New Zealand in 2019.
Gill admitted it will take time for him to warm up to the fact that he’s now the captain of an IPL team. “I think it’s gonna take, like, probably till the time we don’t play the first match. It’s not gonna quite sink in; it’s a great feeling. I was about seven or eight years old when the IPL started happening.”
“Obviously, it’s a dream for any kid who wants to be a cricketer and wants to play the IPL to be able to captain a team. Then, to be able to be that kind of binding factor in this team, it feels amazing,” he concluded.