Salman Butt On Prithvi Shaw: Just By Playing Like Them, One Can't Become Virender Sehwag Or Viv Richards:
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Just By Playing Like Them, One Can’t Become Virender Sehwag Or Viv Richards: Salman Butt On Prithvi Shaw

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

Salman Butt has said that it is unfair to compare Prithvi Shaw with legends like Viv Richards and Virender Sehwag so early in his career. The former tainted Pakistan skipper added that playing an aggressive brand of cricket is not enough for a player to draw comparisons with the legendary swashbuckling duo.

Prithvi Shaw’s belligerent style of batting has divided opinion. The young opener scored two 40s in the ODI series in Sri Lanka but failed to carry on the momentum. According to experts, Prithvi Shaw must be allowed to play his natural game, while others feel the young opener needs to put a bigger price tag on his wicket.

Prithvi Shaw. Pic: ICC
Prithvi Shaw. Pic: ICC

Salman Butt: Prithvi Shaw Has To Score Big Runs And Tons To Justify A Different Kind Of Batting Mindset

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Salman Butt opined that Prithvi Shaw needs to justify his hard-hitting style of play with big scores.

He said: “Some fans feel it is wrong to ask Prithvi Shaw to alter his game. They point out to Virender Sehwag and Viv Richards, who succeeded by playing their own brand of cricket. When you start producing results, you can stake a claim to a particular style of play being yours. You have to score big runs and hundreds to justify a different kind of mindset while batting.”

Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag (Image Credit: Twitter)

Pointing out that players like Richards and Sehwag are of a rare breed, Butt added: “Look at the gap between Richards and Sehwag’s careers. It took nearly 10-15 years after Richards for the cricket world to see a player with a similar attacking mindset in Sehwag.

“Richards scored 180 in England at a time when 225 was considered a good ODI total. Sehwag scored two triple hundreds in Test cricket and averaged over 50 for most of his career. Just by playing like them, one cannot become a Sehwag or a Richards. You have to put up that kind of a performance.”

The Indian opener Prithvi Shaw has made the most of his form, since being dropped following the first Test in the Australia tour, and was in blazing touch versus the Lankans. His 24-ball 43 in the series-opening ODI and a run-a-ball 49 in the third and final ODI were a treat to watch for all.

Salman Butt: Prithvi Shaw Is Playing Too Many Shots Too Early Despite Having All The Strokes In His Repertoire

According to Salman Butt, although Prithvi Shaw has all the strokes in the book, he needs to work on his game to produce better results. The former Pakistan opener gave the example of Prithvi Shaw’s performance in New Zealand when he kept getting out in the ODIs after getting starts.

Butt explained: “To give himself stability, a youngster has to convert starts. Talking of Prithvi Shaw, I saw him playing one-dayers for India in New Zealand as well.

“He used to hit three-four cracking boundaries and then get out. So, when something is not letting you continue and stopping you from making a big score, you need to modify it. You first need to score runs and then shape up in your own style.”

Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt
Controversial Pakistan batsman Salman Butt (File Photo | AFP)

“He has all the strokes in his repertoire, but Prithvi Shaw is playing too many shots too early. He needs to take into consideration factors like time, pace, wicket and opposition and manage his innings accordingly. Even the great Sachin Tendulkar paced his innings as per the situation,” Salman Butt added.

In six ODIs for India, the 21-year-old Prithvi Shaw has a strike rate of 113.85 in one-dayers and the best score of 49. Prithvi Shaw earned a call-up into the white-ball squad following his excellent form in IPL 2021 (308 runs) and Vijay Hazare Trophy (827 runs).
The Delhi Capitals’ opener had scored 308 runs from 8 innings, at a staggering strike rate of 166.49 in IPL 2021. He may leave the Sri Lankan tour midway as reports suggest he will board the flight to England to join the Test specialist team as a replacement.
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