Express News Service
BENGALURU: One has been hearing Prithvi Shaw’s name for quite some time now, but it is rather surprising that the opener has only played eight internationals (five Tests and three ODIs). There is no doubt about the talent he possesses, but things have not gone according to his plan on and off the field with injuries also playing a part. Take for instance the year 2020, where he failed to deliver in international cricket and the Indian Premier League as well.
Questions about his technique became a subject of discussion too. His sparkling debut ton in 2018 looked like a distant memory. But he bounced back immensely in the domestic season earlier in the year, scoring 827 runs in eight Vijay Hazare matches. He followed that with an impressive 308 runs in the yet to be completed IPL 2021. He looked assured while batting and the element of confidence was back in his game. More importantly his attacking flair and instinct was still intact, which makes him dangerous.
With the kind of form the 21-year old has shown, all eyes will be on the Mumbaikar in the upcoming limited overs series against Sri Lanka, starting Sunday with the first ODI in Colombo. He is only going to benefit from the soothing presence of the head coach for the tour, Rahul Dravid, who has worked with him in the past during the India A tours.
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“I expect Prithvi to come (into the Sri Lanka series) having analysed what his strengths are in his game. I would also expect him to live for the day, not think too far ahead nor too back,” said former India opener WV Raman in a virtual interaction. “The other thing is that he will have the advantage of playing during the powerplay – the ball is new and coming on. So if he finds the gap, he can score boundaries frequently. And he is that kind of a player too, by nature.”
Raman is also aware of the things that were said about the youngster when he was out of form. But, Raman wants the player to disregard those things and not sacrifice his attacking game. “People cannot expect consistency straight away. It also took some time for (Virender) Sehwag to work things out. But Prithvi has to get on with the way he knows how to bat. He should not dilute or sacrifice the advantage that he has of being an attacking batsman and match-winner for the team,” he said.
This series is going to be of utmost importance for Shaw, who will also have his eyes on the T20 World Cup, but there is too much competition for the opening slot. Can the selectors ignore him if he scores heavily in the series and the remainder of the IPL 2021?
Watch the 1st ODI on 18th July 2021 LIVE on SONY TEN 1 and SONY SIX