England limited-overs skipper Eoin Morgan hailed rising India batsman Shubman Gill after the young opener’s unbeaten 70 helped Kolkata Knight Riders beat Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday for their first win of the Indian Premier League (IPL) season.
Kolkata, beaten by defending champions Mumbai Indians in their tournament opener in Abu Dhabi, responded with a seven-wicket victory over David Warner’s Hyderabad with Gill (70 not out) sharing a 92-run partnership with Morgan (42 not out).
“I didn’t have to tell him a great deal. He’s beautiful to watch, lovely long languid swing of the bat so I look forward to batting with him again because it was magnificent,” Morgan said in his post-match interview.
Morgan said he was pleased with Gill’s ability to remain focused after scoring his fifth half-century for Kolkata and 10th overall in the IPL, to help them cross the finish line chasing 143.
“I think he’s a good kid,” Morgan, whose side finished with 145-3 with two overs to spare, added.
“He’s quite hungry to learn throughout the tournament regardless of his successes. It was a really good day for him.”
The 21-year-old Gill also received praise from Australian pace bowler Pat Cummins, who conceded 19 runs and claimed one wicket in his quota of four overs.
“This guy next to me batted beautifully,” Cummins said as he decoded the team’s victory alongside Gill.
Gill said he was eager to pick up some of Morgan’s skills.
“He batted really well, especially against the spinners. His reverse-sweeping and sweeping is something I definitely want to learn,” Gill added.
“The conversations weren’t long in the middle, we were trying to anticipate what the bowlers were trying to do.
“The total wasn’t big so it was important for me to stay there. As a batting unit we all did well.”