Prithvi Shaw now holds the second-highest individual score in the nearly nine decades of first-class cricket in India, trailing only Bhausaheb Nimbalkar’s 443 for Maharashtra versus Kathiawar at Pune back in 1948–1949.
Hope you are watching everything Sai Baba, said Prithvi Shaw a few months back in a message on his Instagram account. It was a young man who had been forced into a corner and was pleading with God for help. He was being evaluated by people who had never even met him, and those sporadic pals had abandoned him just when he needed them the most. “I believe the whole focus of the message was on Sai Baba’s potential presence. No one wanted it, I guess. It was quite personal “When Prithvi talked to PTI following his epic 379 off 383 balls in a Ranji Trophy match against Assam in Guwahati, his voice was remarkably calm.
“Sometimes, you do get frustrated,” said the U-19 World Cup winning India captain.
“You know you are doing your things right. You know you are doing your processes right, you are honest with your self, disciplined with your career on and off the field. But sometimes people do talk differently. People who don’t even know you judge you,” the hurt was palpable in his voice.
Success makes one wiser but rough times tend to make you mature a tad faster. It has happened with the 23-year-old, who now knows and can identify who all are his well wishers.
“People who are not with me when I am not doing well, I don’t really care about them. Just like to ignore them. That’s the best policy,” said the second man after Sachin Tendulkar to hit a Test hundred in his teens.
The trolls on social media or the adverse comments don’t bother him anymore.
“I use social media but all my posts are done by my manager, he handles my stories and posts. I dont really see what’s going on. I try and shut myself from all this stuff and if I am doing things right and my processes right, this kind of day will come again and again.”
I will just do my work and not think about India call-up
It is perhaps about time that Prithvi should ideally get a national recall but with Rohit Sharma, kl Rahul, Gill and Abhimanyu ahead of him in the Test pecking order, one doesn’t know how the door will be unlocked.
“I am not even thinking if someone is going to call me in the Indian team. I am just trying to do my things right which I can and not to think too far ahead. I am a person who loves to live one day at a time. I have to make my today right. I am playing for Mumbai and the goal is to win Ranji Trophy,” he said.
He has got thousands of congratulatory messages on all his accounts including some personal ones. It is difficult to choose.
“Lot of people praised and expectations are high. I hope I have made them happy.”
Could have made 400, Prithvi laments
A score of 400 doesn’t happen everyday in first class cricket. But had he not been adjudged leg before off Riyan Parag’s delivery, he might have crossed 400 on the day.
“It feels really nice. I could have made that 400. I think I was batting really well but it was just matter of time as big runs weren’t coming. I thought, I should give myself more time out there in the middle, display patience and the track needed that,” Prithvi explained.
“The pitch did offer seam movement at the beginning and then as the overs progressed, it started keeping low.”
He was indebted to skipper Rahane(191) for his guidance during their 401-run third wicket stand.
“It feels really nice to bat with a player of his (Rahane’s) stature. Someone with so much of international experience. His mere presence around this Mumbai side lifts us up. I always try and learn when an international player comes and plays with us,” he said.
As far as technical changes are concerned, playing close to the body has been his top priority in order to counter the seam and swing movement.
“Just trying to play close to my body. Red ball in conditions like these seams around. I am that kind of player who loves to keep the scoreboard ticking and at times you have to put your head down and bat according to conditions. These small small things made a huge difference,” he signed off.