Prithvi Shaw has had such a bumpy career so far. From winning the Under-19 World Cup to being ousted from the National test team in just 3 years, he has seen a lot in a short period of time. The recently concluded Australia tour that India won 2-1 was the nail in the coffin for his upsurging career sending him back to the domestic cricket to prove his talent, and proven he has.
In the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, Prithvi Shaw has amassed 827 runs in 8 matches at an average of 165.40, becoming the first batsman to do so! His strike rate is also an eye-watering 134.78. Remember this is a 50 overs tournament and not a T20.
Toxicity surrounding young players
Prithvi Shaw and others like him who have made it to the National team at a very young age are often subjected to undeserved hate from the fans. His confidence seemed to have taken a huge dent in the Australian Tour but instead of support, all he got was memes, online abuse and mockery from the cricket fans. Even Rishabh Pant faced similar flak in the series against New Zealand as well as the first test in Australia.
Watching them on TV sometimes we forget that these cricketers are in their early 20s far younger than the people abusing them. Our society is also largely at fault for creating an atmosphere of total negativity when it comes to competitiveness. Scolding a kid for failing at something is somehow seen as a positive parenting trait in the country, oblivious to the fact that in reality, it does a lot of psychological damage to the kid. While there are a lot of supportive people in the country, people who call out bad behaviour from elders are certainly lacking.
Should he focus on County cricket?
Prithvi Shaw has been very good in India for a very long time. He has been known to be ridiculously better than anyone else he played with at age 13. Shaw, Sarfaraz and Arman Jaffer used to pile on double hundreds almost every match when they played for Rizvi Springfield. So, him playing the way he did in the Vijay Hazare trophy is a surprise to none. We know that he is dynamite in Indian conditions, it’s just that his technique abandons him when he goes outside of Asia. The Australia tour was a disaster for him when the ball swung in. He was dismissed playing the same poor shot more than once.
So the question is, should he be allowed to play County Cricket outside of India to get better at playing swing and bounce? The bigger question is will BCCI being the way it operates, allow one of its players to play outside missing domestic cricket? Given BCCI doesn’t allow its players to play any T20 league in the world except the IPL, the chances of Shaw playing County Cricket are meagre- a rather sad situation for what could be a great player.