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IPL 2019: KKR still plan to play Shubman at No.7 despite impressing against DC

"He showed his class as a player."

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After winning four out of their first five games in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) slumped to two consecutive losses against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Delhi Capitals (DC). On Friday, the Delhi side beat them by 7 wickets at the Eden Gardens after Dinesh Karthik’s side scored 178 for 7 in 20 overs. Young talent Shubman Gill opened the innings for the KKR in this match and scored 65 off 39 balls to pick his first half-century of the season. The in-form Andre Russell scored 45 off 21 balls but a 97 not out from Capitals opener Shikhar Dhawan sealed the game in the visitors’ favour.

Karthik heaped praise on Shubman after his knock that included 11 boundaries and two sixes. It was the 19-year-old batsman’s second fifty in the IPL and his highest score since he made his debut last year. Shubman was picked in the IPL after he had a productive Under-19 World Cup early last year in New Zealand and also bagged the Man of the Series award. He also scored his highest score in first-class cricket, 268, for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy this year. He has been batting for the KKR at No.7 and was promoted to open the innings on Friday in the absence of regular openers Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine.

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Karthik, who himself is not in great form this season and has managed only one half-century so far, however, hinted at continuing with Shubman at No.7 despite his heroics against the DC.

The KKR skipper said Shubman has been given a role to bat at No.7 for he can remain composed under pressure. The batsman will be promoted up the order whenever there is an opportunity but otherwise, he will remain at No.7 to finish off games for the side.

‘Shubman okay with batting at No.7’

“He showed his class as a player. But we’ve given him a role at number seven which is very suited to his mentality. He’s able to stay calm in pressure situations, which is a very unique skill to have, and he’s delivered for us over and over again. He realizes that whenever there is an opportunity he’ll be sent up the order.

If not, he’s okay with batting at number seven and finishing off games whenever given the opportunity. I think we’ve been very straightforward with him, and I think he appreciates that,” Karthik said in a post-match conference.

KKR will take on defenders and table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their next game at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

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