Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Earning a place in the Indian team and making the most of the much-awaited debut is what most budding cricketers yearn for. Talented cricketer Shubman Gill, fresh from claiming the U-19 World Cup for India, had also dreamt of the same but in vain. 

Gill got his debut cap in the ODIs in the tour of New Zealand back in 2019. However, the right-hander ended up scoring only nine runs off 21 balls and eventually the Men in Blue lost the match by eight wickets in Hamilton. 

A frustrated Gill sat on the sidelines when the legendary MS Dhoni walked up to him. Following a conversation with the ‘Captain Cool’, Gill found himself all smiling. Gill has recalled the memorable incident about MSD’s pep talk after three years.

Speaking on the chat show ‘Dil Diyan Gallan’ hosted by Sonam Bajwa, Gill reminisced that after he was dismissed early in the game, he was pretty dejected. It was then that Dhoni walked up to him and reminded him of his debut. The young aggressive batsman was then recalled that the veteran wicketkeeper was dismissed for a golden duck in his maiden international appearance back in 2004 in the tour of Bangladesh. Dhoni had in fact not even faced a single ball as he was run out.

“The day I made by debut, I got out when India were around 15. I was sitting outside and was sad having scored just nine runs in my debut. So Mahi bhai came and saw that I was very sad. I was then around 18-19 years old. He told me at least your debut was better than mine. I realised he was dismissed for golden duck in his debut. He did not face a single delivery and was run out. Then he started laughing and joking and I was really moved by that great gesture,” Gill said.

Notably, Gill is presently with the Men in Blue in New Zealand for the three-match T20I series. After the opening game was washed out due to rain, the second match is scheduled to be played at the Bay Oval on Sunday.