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His father shaped his career
He was not a professional cricketer, but such is Lakhwinder Singh’s cricketing nous that he can give any coach a run for his money. Lakhwinder, who himself wantedto play the game professionally but lack of opportunities nipped his dream in the bud, was son Shubman Gill’s first coach. Even now, whenever the youngster, Man of the Tournament in theU-19 WorldCup, isin doubt over cricketing matters, heconsultshisfather.
“Shubman was interested in the sport since a very young age. Hestartedwielding a bat at the age of three. He never liked any other toy. He would play with a bat and a balleven before going tobed.
“Seeing his interest in the game, I decided to train him. I made him play 500 to 700 balls every day. To makehim adept at handling fast bowling, I used to throw the ball over a manji (charpoy). The ball tends to travel faster after skidding off the charpoy. Besides that, he practcised with a single stump as his bat. That helped Shubman in finding the middle of the bat more often than not,” said Lakhwinder.
To provide Shubman better training, Lakhwinder moved his family from Chak Khere Wala – a village in Fazilka district – to Mohali in 2007. Shubman’s grandparentsstillstayin Chak Khere Wala.
“Our village is about 300 kilometers from Mohali. But due to lack of facilities there, we brought him here (in Mohali),” recalledLakhwinder.
“We fully supported him in achieving his dream to become acricketer.”
2019: youngest Indian with first-class double century
Shubman Gill became the youngest Indian cricketer to score a first-class double century and combined with skipper Hanuma Vihari to help India A give West Indies A a challenging total in the third unofficial test.
The 19-year-old Gill, being seen as the next big thing in Indian cricket, scored an unbeaten 204 off 250 deliveries to break former India opener Gautam Gambhir’s record on the third and penultimate day of the ongoing match. Gambhir was 20 when he notched up 218 for India Board President’s XI against the Zimbabweans in a tour match in 2002.
India A resumed at the overnight score of 23 for three, and Gill, starting at 2, reached his century just at the stroke of lunch. His overnight partner Shahbaz Nadeem fell for 13, after resuming on five, early in the day. Captain Vihari (118 not out) then joined Gill in the middle and the two resurrected the Indian innings after the top-order collapse.
The duo notched up an unbeaten 315-run stand for the fifth wicket before India A declared on 365 for 4 soon after Gill scored his double ton. PTI