In the realm of cricket, Prithvi Shaw remains a conundrum. Just yesterday, he set another marker, registering a majestic List A double ton for Northamptonshire versus Somerset. Nonetheless, an enigmatic absence from the Indian squad has stretched beyond two years now.
Prithvi Shaw’s journey began with a bang. A staggering 546 runs in a Harris Shield game at age 14, a century on debut in first-class cricket at 17, leading India’s U-19 squad to a World Cup victory, and then becoming the youngest Indian to score a century on a Test debut. In essence, records have always clung to Shaw.
However, the startling fact remains that, after debuting internationally at 18, he’s played a mere 12 games in close to half a decade. Reasons? A mix of technical glitches, discipline issues, health setbacks, and just sheer misfortune.
Recall 2018: After accumulating 237 runs in two debut series Tests against the West Indies, Prithvi Shaw’s subsequent outing was in 2020. He missed the much-acclaimed Border Gavaskar series (2018-19) due to a twisted ankle, sustained during a preparatory match.
Another setback occurred in the 2019-20 home season. A doping violation suspension was slapped on Prithvi Shaw. Consuming a prohibited cough syrup ingredient resulted in an eight-month retrospective suspension, ruling him out against South Africa and Bangladesh.
While his performance in New Zealand was average amidst a faltering Indian lineup, his form saw a significant dip during IPL 2020. A mediocre average of 17.5 over the series highlighted this descent. Moreover, with the pandemic halting the 2020-21 Ranji Trophy and rising star Shubman Gill knocking at the selectors’ doors, Shaw’s chances looked bleak.
Prithvi Shaw: The Rise, Fall, and Potential Redemption
His shaky technique was laid bare in Adelaide’s first Test. Dismissed cheaply by Starc and Cummins, Shaw found himself sidelined. Post-July 2021, Shaw’s performances varied. A brief stint with India in Sri Lanka was followed by a mix of highs and lows in domestic cricket and the IPL. Despite a triple-century feat against Assam in the 2022-23 Ranji Trophy, he struggled to maintain consistency. The narrative emerging was clear: he excelled mainly against weaker opponents.
His fluctuating IPL journey didn’t help. IPL 2021 and 2022 were commendable. Yet, 2023 saw Shaw plunge to his lowest average, a mere 13.2 across eight games.
Moreover, off-field controversies marred Shaw’s reputation. From a publicized brawl outside a nightclub to his ambiguous social media activities, he became a frequent headline-maker, and seldom for commendable reasons.
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2023 brought hope. Selected for a T20I series against New Zealand, many anticipated Shaw’s comeback. However, with Gill’s exceptional form taking centre stage, Shaw remained benched. His dismal IPL 2023 performance meant his return was short-lived.
Now, playing for the One-Day Cup in England, Shaw’s latest double-century is a testament to his talent. However, murmurs regarding his physical fitness still persist.
Prithvi Shaw’s absence from the Indian team is a cocktail of form inconsistencies, off-field debacles, and ill-timed injuries. While his talent remains undeniable, his journey is a testament to how cricket extends beyond mere talent, demanding discipline, form consistency, and sometimes, a stroke of luck. Shaw’s recent double-ton in England might be a sign of resurgence. Yet, only time will dictate whether he can reinvent his international career.