Prithvi Shaw has said that he expects to be fit for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. “I will be fit before the Indian Premier League and I am trying hard to reach full fitness. I am working on my ankle as well as on my upper body,” said the 19-year-old in an interview to India TV.
Shaw was initially part of the Test squad that played Australia in a four-match Test series over the months of December and January. But a freak ankle injury during a practice match before the first Test resulted in Shaw getting ruled out for the rest of the series. “We were playing the practice match in Sydney ahead of the first Test,” said Shaw. “I was standing at deep mid-wicket and Ash bhai (R Ashwin) was bowling and a catch came towards me. I caught the ball while jumping backwards in the air and my body weight fell on my left foot when I landed. It was a bit uneven there and my ankle got twisted 90 degrees and the entire bodyweight fell on that. That’s how it happened.”
“I was trying hard to play in the second Test and the physios too were trying to get me fit for the match. However, the more they tried, the swelling increased and it got more painful. So, I thought even if I play, I will not be able to give my 100 per cent because it was not easy to play with that pain,” said Shaw.
“It was an unfortunate incident and you can’t really do anything about that. It was my wish to play in the challenging conditions in Australia. I love the bounce there. But unfortunately, I suffered a leg injury. But that’s okay, I am very happy that India won the Test series. It can’t get better than this,” he said. “I got full support of the team at that time because I was very disappointed with the injury. I had practised hard for the tour and had many things in my mind that I thought I would do there. So, it was disheartening. But yeah, now I am happy that we won the series,”
Shaw was widely expected to take up the opener’s slot and in his place, Murali Vijay and KL Rahul batted at the top of the order for the first two matches. The pair was dropped for Mayank Agarwal and make-shift opener Hanuma Vihari in the third Test and Rahul was brought back to partner Rahul in the fourth. Agarwal enjoyed a breakthrough series scoring 195 runs in the four innings he played as India won the series 2-1 – the first instance of an Asian team beating Australia Down Under in a Test series.
“It was a huge achievement for us as an Indian cricket team to win a Test series against Australia in Australia. The team combination was perfect. The way the bowlers bowled, I haven’t seen a fast bowling attack of this calibre in my cricketing career. The batsmen also gave their best for the team. All of them clicked at some time or the other. Kohli Bhai, Pujara Bhai, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant – they were trying their best. It feels really good to win the Test series after playing so hard,” said Shaw.