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I will stick to the method that has brought me till here: Prithvi Shaw

Last updated on 08 Jul 2023 | 01:52 PM
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I will stick to the method that has brought me till here: Prithvi Shaw

In this first competitive game after a disastrous IPL, the India batter scored 51 across two innings as West Zone progressed to the Duleep Trophy final

Prithvi Shaw exudes an uncanny sense of calmness. It doesn’t always happen that the Mumbaikar - not prone to have a life without controversy - speaks to the media the way he did. Calm, understated, and taking everything in his stride, it was a different version of Prithvi Shaw that showed up at the press box of the KSCA Oval in Alur after West Zone went on to qualify for the final of the Duleep Trophy 2023.

A combined score of 51 runs (26 in the first innings and 25 in the second) across two innings is not something that one has come to associate Shaw with, especially in Indian first-class cricket. But it was also the first competitive game for the Mumbaikar after a disastrous Indian Premier League (IPL) season that saw him pile on just 106 runs in eight matches averaging 13.25 before being snubbed from the Delhi Capitals (DC) side. 

"Those few innings [in IPL 2023] went in a flash," Shaw said after the match in Alur. 

"I kept thinking about the first match, I quickly realised that three matches had passed. The learning was once the match is done, just leave it there. You can't do anything about it, it's history. You have to keep moving forward.

"Whichever game I play - Duleep Trophy, my Mumbai game, whichever game - it's important for me to bring my best. I'm the kind of person who always puts the team first. I feel that sometimes you just have to take a step back and then go forward again. Things will come your way if you do the right things at the right time."

It was not that Shaw was not in the reckoning. Earlier this year, he was picked in India's T20I squad for the series against New Zealand, but a bad IPL didn’t help his cause. Even after the match, national selector Subroto Banerjee struck up a conversation with Shaw for close to 20 minutes, which suggests he is surely not out of the conversation as of now. Shaw is taking everything in his stride now, knowing the only reality of time that it changes.

"When I came back for the T20s against New Zealand, I didn't get a chance, but this is what life is," he said. 

"Sometimes you get chances, sometimes you don't. You have to accept it. It's not like I'll sit down there and think, ‘why'. I mean, I do ask myself that question, but at the end of the day, if you go there and perform well, do your fitness routines, and score well, you'll be there. I just try and be as positive as I can.”

"I feel whatever has brought me till here, I will stick to that method, be the same. If I change right now for something, for example, I can't bat like Pujara sir. He can't bat like me. I just try to do what has brought me here, everything god has given me, like this aggressive batting. I don't like to change that, be it T20 or any format. The mindset is the same across formats, obviously, I won't go slashing if I shouldn't in red-ball cricket, but my mindset is to be aggressive.

"I'm expecting to be better than what I was last year. I just want to be a step ahead, be a better version of myself as a good batter, as an athlete and as a good person."

It was atypical of Shaw to take an entire hour on the first day of the match to find his footing. By his own admission, the ball was moving around by a foot on the first day of the match, which made it really difficult for the batters to score quickly. So much so that the star-studded West Zone batting line-up lost five wickets for barely 60 runs on board. Shaw stated that not scoring quickly was a concious decision.

"If things are not going my way, obviously, I'll try and not play how I'm supposed to play in those conditions. Personally, I feel I don't have to change my game. I have just to be a little smarter than what I am. I try to play with the bowlers, do some things that are going to distract them and make them bowl here and there, and give me the balls that I want and not what they want to bowl. These are the things I look forward to when conditions are like this,” the Mumbaikar added.

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