Prithvi Shaw looks set to earn a recall for India’s Test side again after being asked to appear for a fitness review. The BCCI has asked the young batsman as well as pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah to appear for the fitness review. Both the players will report to the team management in Visakhapatnam on December 18 and 19.
Prithvi Shaw has not played a Test since starring in his debut series which was a two-match series against West Indies in October last year. He was a part of the team for the tour of Australia but had suffered an injury during a warm-up game and was later ruled out. Things then went from bad to worse for him as he was slapped with a doping ban.
The ban ended in November and the Mumbai star has hit the ground running. He scored three fifties in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before impressing in the first game of the Ranji Trophy this week. After scoring a 62-ball 66 in the first innings against Baroda, Prithvi Shaw scored a stunning double century in the second innings as Mumbai won the game by 309 runs.
With the 20-year old in stunning form at the moment, it would not be surprising if he is recalled into the team for the tour of New Zealand in February. With Mayank Agarwal and Rohit Sharma doing well at the top, Prithvi Shaw is unlikely to break into the playing eleven straightaway but can be in the squad as a third opener. In the last two series, India had called up uncapped Shubman Gill as backup opener.
Fitness review does not guarantee call up:
The decision to call Prithvi Shaw and Bumrah for fitness review is a big indication that the team management wants to test their readiness for international cricket. Both have a chance to make the trip but there is no guarantee over it, according to Mumbai Mirror. The report rightly claimed that while Bumrah is an indispensable part of the team and is certain for the tour if he is fit, there is no certainty over Shaw.
Bumrah suffered stress fracture in the lower back during the second Test against West Indies in September and since then he has been out of action. The team management also treaded cautiously deciding not to rush him into the squad during the home season. He is likely to return to action for the tour of New Zealand.
The news outlet further stated that as far as Shaw is concerned, it is a different story altogether although the recent double century has brightened up his chances of making it to the tour. Shaw has a chance to go as a third opener, but a lot will depend on the thinking of the selection committee of the time. Currently MSK Prasad’s panel is doing the job but one is not sure if the same panel will pick the team to New Zealand.
A BCCI official also said that the fitness reviews should not be construed as a selection call as yet, stating:
“It is a routine exercise which the BCCI undertakes with the players coming out rehabilitation or fitness issues. Periodically they are tested by the BCCI physios and trainers in their S&C (strength and conditioning) and fitness issues.”