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No better place to make my India debut than New Zealand, says Gill after India call-up

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Considered the 'next big thing' in Indian cricket, has broken into the national team sooner than he expected and says there can't be a better place to start his international career than New Zealand, where he was named of U-19 World Cup, 12 months ago.

The last one year has seen the 19-year-old opener take giant strides.

The Mohali-based has followed his U-19 to make the Indian team, albeit in the shorter formats, after a 'dream' 2018 when he bagged a lucrative IPL contract following a stellar and made 790 runs in 10 innings at 98.75 in Punjab's latest campaign.

He was also part of the Rahul Dravid A side that toured last month.

"It is a big advantage (to be picked for the tour). I played well there in the U-19 and now again I have got the opportunity," told on Sunday after getting the of his life, late last night.

" As I have done well there, I can say that there isn't much adjustment needed in the technique. If I get an opportunity, I will have just need to handle the pressure that comes with playing for Mentally, it will be different for sure but I am ready."

He is a but the occasion got the better of him when he was informed about his selection.

"It was late in the night. My heart started beating faster. The messages started pouring in and I rushed to tell my father. It was a special moment," said

Gill knew his time would come, something he had expressed to after a fruitful campaign in the Deodhar Trophy in October, shortly after sensational Test debut.

Even senior teammate Yuvraj Singh and his IPL Dinesh Karthik, who was amongst the first few to congratulate Gill, knew it was only a matter of time before he reaches the biggest stage and that would probably happen after in May-July.

But Gill has got the selectors' nod well before the ICC mega event in England as he replaces the suspended K L Rahul in the limited overs squad for the tour, beginning January 23. The Indian top-order is well settled at the moment but Gill can still get to play during the five ODIs and three T20s against the Black Caps.

"The call was unexpected but I understand the circumstances in which I have been picked. I have a pretty set target in mind. I have done well at all the levels I have played in so far and that has given me the belief that I can also excel in international cricket," said Gill, who is known to pace his innings brilliantly.

The last one year has been "amazing" for Gill but he attributes his call-up to years of hard work.

"At this time last year we went for and now I have got an India call-up. Yes, last one year has been great but I would see this as a result of work put in by me ever since I started playing the game."

Shaw and Gill already seem like polished products and opener puts it down to the exposure received during his maiden IPL stint with KKR.

"Definitely, I have gained maximum exposure from IPL and experience has also helped immensely. Though, it all started with the win in the U-19 World Cup where we experienced the for the first time.

"The atmosphere that is created during the U-19 World Cup does help you at higher levels," added Gill.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 15:10 IST