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‘Shaw’Shank Redemption: Prithvi Makes ODI Debut vs New Zealand

Prithvi Shaw had recently scored a stroke-filled 150 off 100 deliveries in a tour match for India A in Lincoln.

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Cricket
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There’s an uncanny similarity with pint-sized cricketers hailing from Mumbai — the heartland of the sport — and managing to rule 22 yards in a manner that leaves an imprint over anyone who glances across while taking a stroll.

From Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar and now Prithvi Shaw, the penchant to dominate bowlers has been quite a unique feature. In comparison to the legacies set by the former two, Shaw still has a long way to go though.

It was his strong run in school and club cricket that propelled him to the India under-19 and Mumbai Ranji teams before he earned his Test cap in a series against West Indies at home in October 2018.

And on Wednesday, he made his India debut in limited-overs cricket with skipper Virat Kohli naming him in the Playing XI of the first ODI against New Zealand at Seddon Park, Hamilton.
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Poor Luck

Prithvi Shaw had recently scored a stroke-filled 150 off 100 deliveries in a tour match for India A in Lincoln.
Prithvi Shaw was ruled out of the 2018-19 tour of Australia following an ankle injury.
(Photo: Twitter/@Ateet_Sharma)

Sadly, or perhaps as a blessing in disguise, Shaw has managed to play just two Tests for India so far. He was ruled out of the Test series during India’s tour of Australia in 2018 after suffering an ankle injury, and nearly 12 months on, Shaw found himself out on the sidelines yet again, albeit this time Team India were to travel to New Zealand.

Shaw had to be initially pulled back from India A’s tour games after he suffered a shoulder injury while fielding in a Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka, but to his luck it was a minor scare.

He thundered back with a stroke-filled 150 off 100 deliveries in the second tour match in Lincoln.

In between the two injuries though, Shaw also had to serve a suspension after he tested positive for terbutaline and in turn missed out on the home series against Bangladesh and South Africa.

In July last year, Shaw was slapped a post-dated eight-month doping ban by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Shaw went off to National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, trained under Rahul Dravid, and on his first comeback match, cracked a stellar 39-ball 63 against Assam in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

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A Thumping Comeback

Prithvi Shaw had recently scored a stroke-filled 150 off 100 deliveries in a tour match for India A in Lincoln.
Prithvi Shaw with the “talking bat” celebration after he smashed a half-century against Assam in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
(Photo: Twitter/@clutchplay)

His innings, laced with six boundaries and three sixes, was a treat to the eyes. But to Shaw, it meant more than just another quick-fire knock. On reaching the half-century mark, Shaw raised his bat, fisted it and then celebrated the feat by executing the “talking bat” celebration India skipper Virat Kohli had made famous in Australia.

It was more of a statement to his naysayers.

He, perhaps, did jump the gun though. Besides bringing up the half-century against domestic minnows Assam, Shaw had also admitted to taking the banned substance, albeit inadvertently.

The criticism and backlash that he had received, was perhaps only just.

"I never thought something like this would happen. I was obviously upset. For the first 20-25 days after I was banned, I was not able to make any sense of things. After that, I stabilised and kept myself mentally strong. Each day was hard," Shaw had told reporters after the game against Assam.

“I was desperate to play a game. I was excited about today’s game and what better than a victory. I’ll keep scoring runs; this is my job.”
Prithvi Shaw, Indian cricketer

While his gesture was branded ‘arrogant’ by several fans, his purpose had been served. He had announced his comeback. And once the willow does take care of the responsibility, it’s perhaps allowed to let one’s emotions flow once in a while.

In the three unofficial ODIs for India A in New Zealand, Shaw aggregated 105 runs in three matches, including a half-century.
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Prithvi Shaw had recently scored a stroke-filled 150 off 100 deliveries in a tour match for India A in Lincoln.
Prithvi Shaw (left) was the captain of the India under-19 side that clinched the World Cup in New Zealand in 2018.
(Photo: Twitter/@ICC)

His recent form saw him being roped in as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan for the upcoming three-match ODI series against New Zealand.

With both his form and confidence back, Shaw will only hope to continue from where he had left in the island nation when he led the India Under-19 side to clinch the World Cup for a record fourth time in 2018.

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