Ahmedabad: After reaching the final of IPL 2023 with a 62-run win over Mumbai Indians in Qualifier 2, Gujarat Titans all-rounder Vijay Shankar heaped praise on Shubman Gill, saying the way the right-handed opener is batting currently is just unbelievable.
On Friday, Gill slammed a sensational 129 off 60 balls, his third century of IPL 2023, laced with ten sixes and seven fours while taking Mumbai’s bowlers to cleaners all over the park as Gujarat posted 223/3. In the process, Gill overtook Faf du Plessis to be the highest run-getter of the ongoing season.
“In the second game of the season, I told that he has amazing work ethics, and that is why he is one of the best cricketers right now. The way he is batting right now is just unbelievable. He is hitting those sixes like he’s batting in Test cricket.”
“The way he practices is something really important. He does what he wants and practices with purpose, and every time he turns up to the game, it is so lovely to see him switch on from ball one, which is exceptional,” said Shankar in the post-match press conference.
Gill’s sixes tally is at 33 this year, tied with Shivam Dube and just behind du Plessis, the most for him in an IPL season. “He is able to do both. As a batter, when you know that you can hit sixes as well as rotate the strike. His biggest strength is finding the gaps in the powerplay.”
“He can play the ball in the gaps and hit those boundaries whenever needed. There was an innings where he scored 90 (101 against Sunrisers Hyderabad) and had just one six. He is someone with everything and knows when to use what, and that’s a highlight of being a top player and shows how it is done,” added Shankar.
Shankar, 29, also credited skipper Hardik Pandya and the Gujarat think-tank for constantly backing the players, which has helped them produce consistent results by reaching the final of the tournament for the second successive time in their history of participating in the competition.
“He is pretty aggressive, but at the same time, he is pretty chill as well because he wants everyone to give their best and enjoy the game. He has shown the confidence in every individual in this team to come out and take up those challenges. When you have the backing from your captain and your coach, then you feel really comfortable.”
With Gujarat set to face-off against Chennai Super Kings in Sunday’s title clash, Shankar believes the defending champions have it in them to clinch the trophy yet again. “We have worked on all the aspects of our game, and it is just about going out there and giving our best. We did well in the first game when we played against Chennai here, and it is very important for us to enjoy the game as it is a very big moment for us.”
“The wicket is really good, and we do have a bit of an advantage with the home conditions. Final is a great platform for us, and we want to enjoy the moment because we are playing back-to-back finals which is a great thing to happen,” he concluded.
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