regular-article-logo Thursday, 05 October 2023

IPL 2023: Swag of sixes and Rahul Dravid-like poise, it's Gujarat Titans’ Shubman Gill  

Gill’s evolution as a six-hitter at the top of the order has been one of the main reasons behind the Titans’ success

Indranil Majumdar Calcutta Published 28.05.23, 06:50 AM
Shubman Gill.

Shubman Gill. File photo

Cameron Green couldn’t fathom what struck him in that 15th over of the Gujarat Titans innings. Having completed his third century in this IPL, Shubman Gill had already smashed the Australian all-rounder for a monstrous six and a boundary in the previous two deliveries.

The Titans opener found that the fifth ball was slightly short as he came down the wicket and was cramped for room. Not in the best of positions to execute another pull over deep mid-wicket, the shortest of the boundaries in Ahmedabad, he jumped and executed a tennis-like swat over the same region.


There was more than mere power and timing in that stupendous six. It was probably the only stroke in his 129 off 60 balls that defied the cricket dictionary. Gill’s evolution as a six-hitter at the top of the order has been one of the main reasons behind the Titans’ success.

Having played most of his cricket under Rahul Dravid as the Under-19, India A and now the senior team coach, Gill has designed his game on the former captain’s footsteps: No slogging, only proper cricket shots.

Dravid was never keen on changing a batter’s style and has concentrated more on the mental aspect. In a chat with The Telegraph just after his triumphant return from the 2018 U-19 World Cup, Gill revealed Dravid’s message during a tete-a-tete.

“Everyone has the skills, but how you are mentally prepared to deliver on a particular day is what matters most. You’ve got to be mentally prepared to play a big innings and make it a special moment for the team,” is what Dravid had told a young Gill.

Dravid’s words proved to be prophetic as Gill has shown the maturity to shoulder the team’s responsibility. He has remodelled his white-ball game, both technically and mentally, since being flayed for strike-rate at KKR.

He may not possess the power of a Viv Richards or the innovation of an AB de Villiers, but his timing and perfect positioning to execute a stroke puts him on a par with the rest. He follows a simple technique: still head, nimble feet movement and a perfect balance where he transfers the weight so naturally against the fast bowlers.

There is also his temperament — a combination of the mental, physical and emotional traits — which has played a role in his transformation in all formats.

Gill says he has the belief to make things happen after having come off a good international season. But can he produce another epic which could ruin Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s swansong and script a new chapter for the Titans?

Follow us on: