Head coach Brendon McCullum has backed batsman Shubman Gill to be part of the Kolkata Knight Riders' leadership group during the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik is the captain of the Knight Riders. England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan is also in the squad. The KKR team boasts a host of other experienced players, too.
“What a talent, and what a good guy as well. He is going to be a part of our leadership group this year as well, at least in some capacity,” said McCullum on the IPL franchise's official website.
“Even though he is young, I am a big believer that it's not necessarily true that you having played for a long time makes you a good leader. It's about you exhibiting the behaviours of a leader.
“We've obviously already got the likes of Andre Russell and Sunil Narine, but to have added Pat Cummins and Morgan in particular to that leadership group, and also provide him behind the scenes with some support staff who will be able to assist Dinesh as well.
“It's always good to have a cross-section of leadership within your group. To us, Shubman is one of those guys we would look to lean on for some leadership throughout this season.”
McCullum on Morgan
Morgan will miss Kolkata's opening fixtures of the IPL 2020. He will be with England for a three-ODI series against Australia at the time. He used to be McCullum's team-mate at KKR.
“We love the game, and we play it for the camaraderie, the friendships, the experiences that it gives you for the rest of your life. We don't necessarily play it just for that moment,” added McCullum.
“Eoin has been nothing short of inspirational in what he's been able to achieve in the last four and a half years with England.
“Let's not forget, he's an Irishman. And for an Irishman to have left home at the age that he did, to have taken the plunge and said ‘I want to go and further my career and make a real fist of this' to now becoming the England captain, and a World Cup-winning captain at that – just phenomenal.”
The Knight Riders have won the IPL twice. The Mumbai Indians are the reigning champions.