Prithvi Shaw’s tough times continued as he fell for just four runs in the second innings of the first Test between India and Australia in Adelaide. Shaw, who made a two-ball duck in the first innings, was once again bowled through the gap between bat and pad leading to questions on his technique.
Former Australia captain and current Delhi Capitals coach Ricky Ponting, who has worked with Shaw in the IPL for the last two seasons, had predicted Shaw’s dismissal in the first innings accurately pointing to the ‘gate’ through which Mitchell Starc had got the ball. Shaw was bowled by Pat Cummins in the second innings, after which Ponting dissected his technique.
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“The problem and the worry is his front foot’s not planted."@RickyPonting talks Prithvi Shaw’s first Test dismissals #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/7Vo8ukUNyg— 7Cricket (@7Cricket) December 18, 2020
“You can see on the left of the screen, the first innings dismissal where Mitchell Starc is bringing one back through the gate. You can see he’s trying to make a slight adjustment in the second innings, the gap is not that big. But the problem and the worry is that the frontfoot is not planted. It’s still in the air, he’s late on the ball, he’s late moving his weight into the ball. If he actually gets a full stride forward there, that eliminates the gap between bat and pad," Ponting said on Channel 7.
“He makes about three movements with his frontfoot but the frontfoot doesn’t actually go anywhere."
Former England opener Nick Knight said it’s better for Shaw if he’s given a break from the team.
“It’s a real concern. You see the first innings dismissal… the backlift is coming from the second or third slip. These guys (Australian pacers) are too good. You are talking about the best bowlers and they are not going to let Prithvi Shaw get away with that backlift,” he said on Extraaa Innings on Sony Six channels.
“I don’t see him being able to make those changes over the next four or five days or whatever it might be before the next game. Mentally what sort of a shape he is in? I don’t think he will be able to play in the second Test,” he added.
“Sometimes when you reflect on your career, there are moments in which at that time you might feel it is against you but it actually works for you because you are taken out of a difficult situation and it’s actually a bit of relief for you when you look back at it. This might be one of those occasions, it is actually better for him if he is taken out of the team so that he can work on his technical deficiencies,” Knight said.
Zaheer Khan too agreed with Knight.
“It can look bad when you are getting out. It’s equally difficult when someone figures it out. That’s what international cricket is all about. Everyone is just waiting to figure you out, find out your weaknesses and just attack. That’s what is happening with Prithvi Shaw at the moment," Zaheer Khan said on the same show.
“The wicket is also assisting them. Maybe in subcontinent conditions you have that fraction of bit extra to adjust. Here it’s going to be a challenge to adjust to that pace as well and that is something which he will be facing for sure. Also the pace of the bowler, you know, not often you have 2 or 3 bowlers coming at you at 145 pace. That’s something which he has to adjust to.
“I completely agree with you that he might be missing in this (next) Test match. I mean the remaining of the series looks like it’s going to be difficult for him to make his spot. There was some speculation that he might not be starting the series. These kinds of total and that dropped catch."
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Prithvi Shaw needs to go back and play a couple of years at the domestic level. He was fast tracked simply because of the aura that was created around him. He has way too many chinks to be opening at the test level #DoddaMathu #AUSvIND— ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) December 18, 2020
The right-handed batsman had failed to get a fifty in both the warm-up games prior to the first Test, making just 62 in four innings at an average of 15.5, prompting both Border and Gavaskar to say that with a loose technique he shouldn’t be playing the first Test. Border had, in fact, said that he plays too many shots outside his off-stump.
Shaw has been failing consistently over the past couple of months and was even dropped from the Delhi Capitals (DC) side at one point during the Indian Premier League (IPL). In his last seven innings for DC, he got three ducks and managed just one double digit score which was only 10. His aggregate was just 30 in those seven innings on slower, subcontinental-like surfaces.
The Mumbai batsman also had an ordinary outing in New Zealand in February making 16, 14, 54 and 14 across two Tests in the last Test series played by India before this.
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