Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) started the UAE-leg of IPL 2021 with a dominating win over Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) with the latter bundled out for 92 with the two-time champions chasing it down easily with 10 overs to spare.
KKR opener Shubman Gill played a superb knock of 48 (34) which included 6 boundaries and a maximum. He added 82 runs for the first wicket with Venkatesh Iyer.
Gill’s fearless approach was hailed by a lot of fans and pundits, the former India cricketer Virender Sehwag was one of them as KKR registered a 9-wicket win at Abu Dhabi.
“Shubman Gill should bat freely, no matter what the situation is. He shouldn’t be bothered about runs. There are 9 batsmen behind him, hence, he shouldn’t think much. If he gets a loose ball, hit it big and of not, just tap it and get a single,” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.
“He has more ability than several greats of the game. The players from older generations had a stronger mindset which led them to success. If Gill wants to be a successful batter, he needs to work on his mindset,” he added.
The former India batsman then cited the difference between shortest format and other longer formats to explain how a batsman need not take the pressure and start hitting right from the ball one he faces.
“T20 cricket isn’t a format where you score ball-to-ball. You do that in the longer formats where a strike rate of 50 is considered decent. But this format is meant to bat like this. No need to take pressure while batting. You just go and start hitting,” the 42-year-old said.
“If you connect then you are a match winner and if couldn’t, then no worries, someone else will do that. It is not about the skill but mindset. It’s most important because if you have that kind of mindset, how would you play? Batsmen do have the skill to hit a six but doubt in their mind and fear of getting out stops them from going for it,” the right-hand explosive batsman concluded.
As far as KKR is concerned, the shifting of IPL 2021 from India to UAE turned out to be a blessing in disguise as won their first match on return and moved to fifth spot on the points table.