Shubman Gill comes into the squad with limited expectations but is confident of succeeding when his time does come Getty
A few factors had to work in Shubman Gill's favour, who finds himself in the Indian Test side for the three-match Test series against South Africa. KL Rahul's lack of runs and Prithvi Shaw's ban meant the Indian selectors were forced to look for a fresh opening option. MSK Prasad already clarified that Rohit Sharma will open in Tests with first-choice opener Mayank Agarwal. But the lack of a third option meant the selectors turned to highly promising Gill.

His fighting 90 against South Africa A in the unofficial first Test strengthened his case but the Punjab batsman stressed that the IPL experience helped him prepare for the highest level. Gill, however, comes into the squad with limited expectations. He doesn't expect overnight success but stresses he's confident of succeeding when his time comes. "Whenever there are some bad innings, after having played for so many years, you know it is a tough game," he had told reporters during the second Duleep Trophy game in Alur. "There are more bad days than the good days, we all know that.

"It is very important to be completely switched on when it is your day. You have to make that count. Your game doesn't change in any of the formats, only your mental ability and situation changes. We have to just calculate the situation and take a certain amount of risks which are required."

The selectors are likely to stick with the Rohit-Agarwal combination for the three Tests and that means Gill will have to wait for his chance. And while he prepares for one of the biggest challenges of his career, the real test will be his ability to grind out long periods of time in the longer format. "I've learnt (to be patient) from my father - he had the patience and calmness to keep throwing 200-300 balls at the nets when I was a kid," he said. "From my early days my mindset was such that if I am set, batting on a hundred, I have to go on to a big one. I should not lose my concentration and should not play any loose shots. This is one habit I have adopted when I was young and it has helped me."

Gill, of course, knows how tough international cricket can be. His ODI debut lasted 21 deliveries where he made 9. The second game too yielded just seven. The batsman, however, stated that his visualising techniques will hold him in good stead. "Before every match, we have meetings where we analyse videos of bowlers we're likely to face. Personally, before going to sleep the night before, I visualise, I imagine facing up to those bowlers and playing my favourite shots."

Gill also acknowledged the contribution of Yuvraj Singh in his rise so far and credited the former India all-rounder for keeping him away from all the distractions. "He keeps telling me what needs to be done. Few years back, he told me I shouldn't sign any company, I should just go and play. I didn't sign anyone. He keeps guiding me, keeps tells me what to do what not to do," he said. "There are a lot of people who keep guiding me. In our team (Punjab), we have Yuvraj Singh, Gurkeerat Mann, my father. I'm very close to my father. He keeps telling me, guiding me."