'Potential' Prithvi Shaw Should Remain Grounded, Says Anshuman Gaekwad
Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
Prithvi Shaw smashed six fours in the first over Delhi Capitals' innings against the Kolkata Knight Riders | Photo: BCCI / IPL
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‘Potential’ Prithvi Shaw Should Remain Grounded, Says Anshuman Gaekwad

Prithvi Shaw is the cynosure of all eyes in the Indian team which is gearing up for the forthcoming Sri Lanka series despite the presence of a few uncapped cricketers in the squad. The young and promising opening batsman was dropped from the Test squad in Australia after which he changed his technique and returned to the fold after missing England Tests at home.

Anshuman Gaekwad, a former India coach spoke about the importance of the forthcoming limited-overs Sri Lanka series for opener Prithvi Shaw and touched upon the circumstances that may have played a role in the youngster witnessing a roller-coaster ride.

Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI
Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test squad earlier in the year. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prithvi Shaw Should Be Grounded As He Lost His Form Due To Overconfidence Or Arrogance: Anshuman Gaekwad

Prithvi Shaw has been rewarded for a stellar show in 2021, having become the first man to score over 800 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, and also scoring 308 runs for the Delhi Capitals from just eight matches with three half-centuries, including slamming six fours in an over. He is the obvious first choice to open the innings with his Delhi teammate and new skipper Shikhar Dhawan.

The series against Sri Lanka could be a make-or-break deal for the youngster with an eye to be picked for the T20I World Cup. In the first half of last year, reports of him facing disciplinary issues emerged, and then the great Sachin Tendulkar came into the picture and mentored him.

Anshuman Gaekwad
Anshuman Gaekwad

Former India coach Anshuman Gaekwad touched upon the circumstances that may have played a role in the youngster witnessing a roller-coaster ride. He advised him to stay grounded and learn lessons himself or from watching others.

“It’s going to be very important for him. He’s a brilliant player, who’s got a lot of runs. He started off with flying colours. We thought there is a boy who had come here to stay. But then he lost it. And why did he lose it? It could be confidence, it could be overconfidence or arrogance.

“These are the reasons for which a player has a downfall. Being grounded is very, very important. I’ve seen the greatest of players – talk about Tendulkar, Dravid, Vishwanath. They were all grounded, and never put their collars up or said ‘I’m so and so’,” Anshuman Gaekwad said.

“All these guys played for long – Laxman, Sourav, Azhar. All of them. Of course, being young these things happen but I’m sure he’s learnt his lesson. He has to grow up, and I’m sure he has. Some players probably improve from the experience of watching others, while some want to do it themselves.

“They want to experience it themselves and then improve, so I hope he has learnt his lesson. Also, the thing with him is that he’s got time with him. He’s got tremendous potential and promise, so the sky’s the limit.”

Prithvi Shaw who is 21 may sometimes feel a decade older given what he has been through. From creating waves in the junior circuit to becoming a domestic behemoth, Prithvi Shaw realized his dream of playing for India when he earned his maiden Test cap in 2018. He lit up the occasion by scoring a century on debut, becoming the second Indian to do so.

Prithvi Shaw’s Indifferent Form In 2018 To 2020 Wasn’t Repeated In 2021 Where He Scored Above 800 Runs In Vijay Hazare Trophy And Continued His Form In IPL

In the Australian tour, during India’s warm-up game in Sydney, Prithvi Shaw twisted his ankle, which ended his Australia dreams. Prithvi Shaw spent the next couple of months recovering from the injury, after which he set his eyes on the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

But he endured a string of low scores there, averaging a lowly 16.75 in eight innings. The IPL was the bumper ticket for IPL to present a case for himself in India’s World Cup squad, but perhaps it was a tad late.

Despite scoring 353 runs for Delhi Capitals, Prithvi Shaw, on expected lines, was not picked for England. A shoulder injury to Prithvi Shaw ruled him out of the one-day leg of India A’s tour of the Caribbean as he underwent rehab at the NCA. And worse, it was followed by Prithvi Shaw being slapped with a suspension for a doping violation.

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw (Image Credit: Twitter)

Once the ban was lifted, he scored patches of form against New Zealand but was far from being at his belligerent best. The IPL 2020 in the UAE last year did not help either, as Prithvi Shaw registered three ducks. Even as he was picked for the tour of Australia, after the two nightmarish outings against the pink ball in Adelaide, the door seemingly shut on him.

But what happened thereon is nothing short of inspirational. Prithvi Shaw went back to his roots, worked closely with Pravin Amre and emerged better than ever, setting the Vijay Hazare Trophy on fire.

He peeled off a double century, scoring 227, which broke the record for the highest individual score in List-A cricket, and dazzled with an unbeaten 185 in the semi-final. His rich vein of form continued in the IPL 2021 before it was halted due to Covid-19, but he has the chance to resume from where he had left off and go big against Sri Lanka.