Young Indian opener Prithvi Shaw has come under intense scrutiny after he suffered back-to-back failures in the pink ball Test at the Adelaide Oval. More than the low scores that he suffered, it was the nature of the dismissal in both the innings that has led to some intense criticism from both fans as well as pundits.
In both the innings, the Australian pacer exploited Prithvi’s muted footwork and the gap between his pads and the bat, and in the wake of obvious technical flaws coupled with horrendous form, calls for his axing and inclusion of Shubman Gill have only grown louder.
However, former Australian middle-order batsman, Mike Hussey feels that India should persist with Prithvi Shaw for at least one more Test, adding that the young opener was up against quality fast bowling on what turned out to be a difficult pitch for batsmen.
Hussey even cited the example of Australian opener Joe Burns who despite going through a lean patch leading into series was supported by the selectors and the team management. Burns subsequently found form in the second innings as he stroked an unbeaten 51.
“I think that selectors should show some faith in Prithvi Shaw. Yes, he didn’t get any runs in this Test match but it’s one Test, against some quality bowling of a difficult pitch to bat,” Mike Hussey told ESPNCricinfo.
“Joe Burns was averaging less than 7 in FC cricket. The selectors showed faith in him. He got out cheaply in the first innings but he slowly got his confidence back, worked his way through it and you see the character of the guy and he ended up scoring 50 not out.” he added.
Mike Hussey urges the Indian management to show faith in Prithvi Shaw
Hussey believes that the Indian team management needs to back the young opener to the hilt. He also added that if the management persists with Shaw, then it will send out a message to the rest of the players that no matter if they had failed in 1-2 Test, they will be given ample opportunities to shrug their poor form off.
The former cricketer also reckoned that the track at the MCG will actually suit Prithvi Shaw’s style-of-batting as the drop-in pitch offers minimum sideways movement.
“For Prithvi Shaw, find out about his character. Show that faith in him, give him that belief, and tell him ‘look, we’re backing you’. The Melbourne pitch will suit him a lot more. It certainly won’t have the same pace and bounce. He’s obviously got enormous talent,” Hussey added.
“What it does is that it sends a great message to the rest of the team. It’s like ‘Look guys, even if you have a bad Test here or there, we’re not going to lose faith in you’. We know you’re good players and we’ll back you. I firmly believe that selectors should stick with Shaw despite not looking in great touch in the Test match.” he added.