Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Shubman Gill has echoed KL Rahul’s infamous words and has claimed that strike-rate, in T20 cricket, is overrated, stating that batting in the shortest format is all about adapting. Last season, despite racking up 440 runs, Gill’s runs came at a modest SR of 117.96.
Shubman Gill was a teenager when he made his IPL debut for the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018, but despite having become a mainstay in the KKR side at the tender age of 21, the youngster hasn’t been devoid of criticism. Last season, Gill, opening the batting, accumulated 440 runs for the side but the 21-year-old came under fire for his strike-rate of 117.96 which, many believed, hindered KKR’s potential. Gill played the anchor role to perfection but often failed to make-up for his slow starts, leaving it to his teammates to up the ante.
The right-hander will, in all likelihood, open the batting for KKR this season, but the 21-year-old is unflustered by people terming him a ‘slow’ batsman. Speaking to PTI, Gill, echoing KL Rahul, insisted that strike-rate is overrated, and claimed that batsmen in T20 cricket need to be judged by their adaptability, and not scoring rate.
"I think strike-rate is kind of overrated," the Kolkata Knight Riders star batsman told PTI in an interview ahead of the upcoming IPL.
"It's all about how you adapt to a certain situation. If the team demands you to play with a strike rate of 200 you should be able to do it. If the team demands you to play at a strike rate of 100, you should be able to do it. It's just about adapting to the match situation.
"There shouldn't be a certain pattern to your game where you are only able to play one kind of game and not be able to adapt to different situations.”
Gill featured in three of the four Tests against Australia and in the entirety of the red-ball leg versus England, but the 21-year-old has not played a white-ball game in over 60 days, with his last limited-overs match coming in a dead-rubber ODI against the Kangaroos in Canberra. But despite the evident lack of match practice, the youngster asserted with confidence that he has enough time in his hands to get into ‘T20 mode’.
"I don't think it will affect anything because we have almost 10-12 days before our first match against Sunrisers Hyderabad (April 11) so there's plenty of time for me to prepare," Gill said.
Gill, last season, opened in all 14 games for the Knight Riders but he has batted in the middle-order in the past notably in the 2018 season, where he was used at No.6 and No.7. Though it is certain that he will feature at the top of the order, the 21-year-old attested that he would be comfortable batting anywhere the team management wants him to.
"I'll be pretty comfortable and up for it whether the team requires me to bat in the middle-order or higher up. I'm up for anything.”