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Former India Fielding Coach R Sridhar Recounts Shubman Gill’s ‘Riveting Incident’ in New Book

The young batting sensation of Indian cricket, Shubman Gill, has been making waves in recent times with his exceptional performances with the bat. From scoring a century each against Bangladesh in Tests, Sri Lanka in ODIs, and a double century against New Zealand in the first ODI in Hyderabad, the 23-year-old has almost cemented his place in the team and is being considered as one of the key players for India in the future.

But, did you know that Shubman wasn’t always the eager beaver when it came to fielding? R. Sridhar, who was team India’s fielding coach from 2014 to 2021, has shared an incident involving Shubman in his recently launched book, “Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team”. In his book, Sridhar recalls how during the Test series against England in 2021 at home, Shubman was slightly reluctant to put in the hard yards while fielding.

Sridhar also talks about how he motivated the young batter and how the current generation of players see themselves as a ‘finished product’ as fielders when they come into the Indian team and are a bit more reluctant to put in the hard work as compared to their cricketing idols.

He also shared how he made KL Rahul field at silly point and short leg when he wasn’t keeping back then. In the book, Sridhar writes, “But the mindset is different in the guys coming in now. Some are just not very willing to put in the hard work.”

But, Shubman’s story doesn’t end there. Sridhar took the young batter out for lunch and had a heart-to-heart with him. Sridhar shared, “I told him, ‘You are considered the next big thing. People are looking at you from a leadership perspective. As a future leader, the one thing you should bring is inspiration. You should have a presence on the field and when you do something you must do it with intent. It is not just doing it for the sake of the team. Do it for yourself.’ Do it for your satisfaction, not because the captain wants you there. What you do there should be an inspiration for the whole team.” And, as we all know, Shubman Gill has since then been a live wire on the field as well as with the bat.