Prithvi Shaw woke up on Wednesday morning in Christchurch to unexpected but happy text messages of his selection in the one-day squad for India’s series in New Zealand. Until a week ago, he wasn’t even sure of travelling to New Zealand for the A series. He was fretting whether the new year would be similar to the previous one when injuries and dope bans had derailed his comeback.
Shaw admits that the call did come as a surprise as he was more focused on performing after his shoulder injury.
“I wasn’t expecting anything and, frankly, didn’t think that I will be picked in the ODI squad. I got to know about my selection very late in the night, early morning actually. I was just thinking about how this tour will go and wanted to take each game at a time. I am happy with the way I have being batting lately. The hundred (150 off 100 balls in the warm-up game) gave me confidence and now I am looking forward to the ODIs,” Shaw told The Indian Express.
Before travelling to New Zealand, Shaw recalled the time when he couldn’t move his hand after the injury.
“I was at the NCA (National Cricket Academy) for three days and couldn’t move my hand. I felt that the New Zealand tour was gone, that I would miss it. I was focusing on icing, mobility and was doing my exercises and praying to be fit as soon as possible. I cleared the yo-yo test too, it was my fourth yo-yo test in the last four months. 2019 went in recovering, last year went with me away from the game most of the time. When the injury happened everything bad came to mind in a flashback,” he recalled.
Shaw had injured his shoulder diving while playing for Mumbai in a Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka. He rushed to the NCA for further assessment. He doesn’t recall the grade of the muscle tear and can only remember the happy moment when he was told that he was fit and can travel to New Zealand for the A tour. Shaw has now made it to the Indian senior team after regular opener Shikhar Dhawan injured his shoulder during the game against Australia in Bangalore on Sunday.
Around the time the news of Dhawan’s injury broke, Shaw hit a 150 off 100 balls in a warm-up game in New Zealand. It convinced the selectors that he is ready for international cricket. A month ago, former India wicketkeeper and selector Kiran More was at the Reliance ground in Vadodara where Mumbai took on Baroda in their opening game. Shaw scored 66 and 202 and More told this paper how Shaw’s batting reminds him of Sachin Tendulkar, in particular the fearless brand of batting. More had stated how the Mumbai batsman is “Bilkul paka hua player” (fully ready and seasoned) and should be picked in the Indian team right away.
On Wednesday, Shaw scored a 35-ball 48 in India A’s second win against their Kiwi counterparts. Having played in New Zealand twice before has helped Shaw in understanding the conditions. The Kiwi bowlers bowled short of a length to him, thinking it might trouble the short-statured Shaw but he thwarted them comfortably.
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“I have played in New Zealand twice before and am familiar with the conditions. A lot of hard work has gone in the past few months, be it diet or training. The way my domestic season started, I was happy with it. I am in a good batting zone and hope to carry this in ODIs too. I always believe that something good is about to come and I have left my worst moments behind me.”
Brief scores: New Zealand A 230 all out in 48.3 overs (Rachin Ravindra 49, Tom Bruce 47; Mohammed Siraj 3/33) lost to India A 231/5 in 29.3 overs (Prithvi Shaw 48) by 5 wickets with 123 balls remaining.
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