Former India batsman Yuvraj Singh is highly impressed with two of Punjab’s most talented youngsters, Abhishek Sharma and Shubman Gill, currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 in UAE.
The two batsmen, Gill playing for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and Abhishek, also a useful left-arm spinner, part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Yuvraj says, have “great skill levels” and a bright future ahead of them.
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“I spent about a month and a half with them and worked with them. They have great skill levels, but it was more about working on their mindset – how to approach a T20 game. For Abhishek as a middle-order batsman and for Shubman as an opener, you have to approach (the roles) differently,” Yuvraj said on the Tissot presents Sportstar Extras T20 Time show.
Yuvraj looked after the two players earlier in the year by having long training sessions with them, feeding them home-cooked food, apart from ensuring they sweat it out well in his personal gym.
“I have been at that stage where they are now. Shubman is someone who is playing for India and Abhishek has shown a lot of promises as an all-rounder. When I started batting with them, they got that momentum – how to approach a game in T20s,” said the great left-hand batsman who quit international cricket last year.
The 38-year-old also spoke on the evolution of the game and how different formats test a batsman’s technique, ability and mental resolve with their own unique challenges.
“When you play Test cricket, you have a lot of time. Initially, we thought the 50-over format was fast-paced because you were chasing big targets and building partnerships. But when the T20s came, the 50-over format looked like a Test match,” Yuvraj said.
“But now that I have played T10 as well, I feel that T20 has a lot of time. Due to a lack of experience, I see a lot of youngsters rushing to play big shots. But you have got to pace your innings out – if you are an opener or even bat at No. 3. But if you come in at No. 4 or No. 5, you don’t have so much time. So, it depends on what situation you are batting in.”
The former Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) captain added, “Time goes past quickly. When I was a captain, I realised that there were times when I was not standing at the right field position because I was worried about the game. Since it is fast-paced, you need good preparation time.”