Prithvi Shaw, who smashed a hundred on his Test debut back in 2018, was replaced by his Under-19 teammate Shubam Gill at the top of the order. Gill cemented his place as Rohit Sharma’s partner and the Thane-born Shaw was then left out of the home Test series against England, and now from the away series against the same opposition as well, despite his supreme form in white-ball cricket.
Ashish Nehra opines that Prithvi Shaw is a young player, and dropping him after failure in just a solitary Test, in Adelaide, was “tough” on the 21-year-old.
“As far as technique is concerned, for any player it is difficult to adjust. Even during the Adelaide Test, he wasn’t a player who had a lot of experience or played 30-40 Test matches. We were talking about a youngster. To drop him on the basis of one Test match was tough. It’s one thing that India went on to win the series but even then, I felt that he shouldn’t have been benched after one Test match,” Ashish Nehra told Cricbuzz.
Even during last year’s IPL, he shouldn’t have been dropped for Rahane: Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra, who was part of the 2011 World Cup-winning squad, points out that Shaw was dropped from the Delhi Capitals’ side as well in IPL 2020, in the UAE, and was replaced by Ajinkya Rahane.
The 42-year-old former seamer doesn’t concur with the Capitals’ move to replace an “explosive player” like Shaw with somebody like Rahane.
“Even during last year’s IPL, I felt he shouldn’t have been dropped. He played a few good innings but couldn’t score runs. But I will always back a player who has more runs than Rahane, when you talk of T20 cricket. I’m not saying that Rahane is not a good player, but in T20 cricket you need explosive players like Shaw, Pant, Stoinis, and Hetmyer,” Nehra maintained.
Nonetheless, Shaw has regained his touch by bettering his technique since returning from Australia. In fact, he has been in a marauding form this season: 827 runs at an unreal average of 165.4 in the Vijay Hazare Trophy; he followed it up 308 runs in 8 innings at a strike rate of 166.49 in the IPL 2021.
While it may take a while for Shaw to return to the Test arena, but with the T20 World Cup approaching, the selectors cannot ignore him now, despite a surplus of top-order options.