Tue, 6 Apr 2021

How one deals with the mercurial Prithvi Shaw

It would not be an exaggerated statement to say that controversy is Prithvi Shaw's middle name. As a prodigious talent, as he is, the 22-year old Mumbai batsman has always hogged the limelight-sometimes for all the good reasons, while at time-notoriously for his off-field antics. 

Shaw is no stranger to the spotlight. Even during his Under-19 days – he led India to the World Cup title in New Zealand in early 2018. So much has been crammed into his short life and brief career already. A blazing century on debut. An ankle injury that kept him out of the entire series in Australia last time around. An eight-month suspension for a positive drugs test. A spectacular rise from the ban with blazing first-class comebacks. 

A poor IPL 2020 season was followed by some poor performances against Australia in the Test series Down Under. Shaw soon found himself on the bench and didn't even make it to the squad for the England series at home. 

He had no option but to go back to the drawing board, rectify his mistakes and come back stronger like never before which Mumbai captain Prithvi Shaw did with aplomb after being dropped from the Indian team.

Prithvi Shaw: Show of intent

In early February, it was a make or break time for Shaw. He had lost his place on the Indian side after a string of low scores in Australia. He went back to the drawing board and worked on his technical flaws.

For a talent as flappable as his, Prithvi Shaw is likely to remind Indian cricket fans of a certain Vinod Kambli.

Just like Shaw, Kambli too was an immensely talented cricketer in the early 1990s. However, the latter failed to make the most of his riches of talent with questionable temperament and ability to maintain decorum when it matters the most.

It now seems that the break did Shaw a world of good as he was able to make some adjustments in his batting which is now helping him score consistently. Twitter was buzzing after his captain’s knock and hailed his outstanding run with the bat in the competitive Vijay Hazare trophy.

With a pronounced back-lift and the bat coming down at an angle from the gully, made Shaw a candidate for bowled and leg before to deliveries coming in. However nothing of that sort has been visible in the Hazare Trophy where he smashed four tons including a record double hundred against Puducherry.

Prithvi Shaw: A tricky road ahead

Shaw couldn’t ask for a better tutor to get his cricket, and his life, back on track. Dravid can show the way but can’t actually prepare, train and bat for him. It boils down to how badly Shaw wants to succeed internationally and how hard he is willing to push himself towards that end.

Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting has revealed his struggle to unlock the best of Prithvi Shaw, the Indian batting prodigy he rates as one of the most talented players he has seen.

Indian cricket has witnessed enough examples to know that talent alone does not guarantee success at this level. Hard work, persistence and the right mentality above all is imperative for a potential to be converted into performance. And Prithvi Shaw is no different. 

The talented future star of Indian cricket will now be setting sights on the upcoming IPL 2021 season where he will be representing the Delhi Capitals. If Shaw has a good IPL season he will again be in contention for India’s white-ball squad for the upcoming series.