Indian cricket has reached a stage where there is no shortage of promising up and coming youngsters. Due to the brilliant depth available, Team India can easily play two teams simultaneously, a practice that has started and promises to become a norm going forward. This will allow better workload management, giving timely breaks to seniors, thus giving the youngsters opportunities to shape and secure the future of Indian cricket. The recently-concluded ODI series was a perfect example of the same. With the big guns rested, a young-looking Team India trounced West Indies with exemplary performances from some of the youngsters such as Shubman Gill, Sanju Samson, Avesh Khan and more.
However, the one name that has gone missing from India’s crop of youngsters is that of Prithvi Shaw. Once tipped as the next big thing in Indian cricket, Shaw, since his international debut in 2018, has fallen off the radar and rather drastically. Marred by poor form, controversies and fitness woes, Shaw has dropped down in the pecking order and cannot find a place even in the secondary team. Shaw’s fall has left many surprised, including former India fielding coach R Sridhar.
“It’s something which we all wonder why? ” Sridhar said in a reply on Cricket.com. “A batter who makes bowlers look absolutely silly. He is so good on the off-side. He’s got great hands great hands going through the ball. You bowl any length to him, and he is able to put it away in the gap and stuff like that.
It has been over a year since Shaw last featured for India – his last match dates back to July, 2021 in a T20I against Sri Lanka. Ever since, he has struggled to make a place in India’s squads. During the IPL, Shaw contracted typhoid which forced him to miss the last few matches for Delhi Capitals. Shaw captained Mumbai and led the team to the final of the Ranji Trophy but there too his performances were not up to the mark. He scores 355 from six matches at an average of 35.5 including three half-centuries. As to what has led to Shaw’s downfall, Sridhar points out two reasons.
“The reason why he’s fallen down in the pecking order is first, his fitness. I’m not sure why he’s not able to make it into these squads. He started off the IPL well, but slowly as the tournament progresses, his performances fell apart a little bit, if I might say so. Maybe we are being harsh on the kid. We need to give him time. He is obviously young and needs to get his act together in terms of his work ethics,” he added.