IPL 2021: Prithvi Shaw puts return to form down to hard work

Delhi Daredevils batsman shared in a quick-fire opening stand worth 59 with Shikhar Dhawan to set his side on their way to victory against Punjab Kings

Prithvi Shaw of Delhi Capitals play a shot during match 11 of the Vivo Indian Premier League 2021 between the Delhi Capitals and the Punjab Kings held at the Wankhede Stadium Mumbai on the 18th April 2021.

Photo by Arjun Singh/ Sportzpics for IPL
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Prithvi Shaw says his remarkable return to form after the nightmares of last year is all down to hard work and a slight technical alteration.

The opening batsman had a woeful run in the IPL in UAE last season, resulting in him being dropped from the Delhi Capitals side midway through the campaign.

Despite his struggles, he was handed a place at the top of the order for the India team in their Test series in Australia.

That went even worse, though. He scored a duck and four in the first Test in Adelaide, was promptly dropped, then had to watch on as his teammates completed an extraordinary comeback win in the series without him.

His response to those troubles has been highly impressive. On returning home, he scored a record number of runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, becoming the first player to break the 800-run mark in the history of Indian domestic cricket’s leading one-day competition.

After leading Mumbai to that title, he has continued his purple patch in the new IPL campaign with Delhi, scoring 72 on the opening day against Chennai Super Kings.

And he shared in a quick-fire opening stand worth 59 with Shikhar Dhawan to set the Capitals on their way to victory against Punjab Kings on Sunday night.

“After that series in Australia, after getting dropped following the first game, I start worrying about my technique,” Shaw said.

“I was thinking, ‘What is happening? Why am I getting bowled the whole time?’ Everyone could see that happening with me all the time.

“Even if it was a minor mistake, I wanted to minimise that. I have worked hard on my initial movements, especially getting more stable and ready before the bowler has bowled.

“I came back from Australia, did work with Prashant Shetty-sir, my coach, before going to Vijay Hazare Trophy.

“It worked quite well, even though I didn’t do any different in that tournament, I just batted my natural game.

“There was a small technical [change] that I had to make, and I think it is going well.”

Once Shaw was dismissed against Punjab, Dhawan took it upon himself to lead the pursuit of 196 to win at the Wankhede Stadium. He made 96 as Delhi eased to victory with 10 balls to spare.

“We wanted a good partnership, and the first six overs were very crucial in this game, chasing [196] which is not easy," Shaw said.

“[Dhawan] batted so well, and we were just discussing waiting for the loose balls and converting them into boundaries and sixes.”