Byline By- Vinayak Heliwal
Ahead of the upcoming 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) Delhi Capitals head coach and Australian Legend Ricky Ponting made a major revelation about his struggles with coaching opening batsman Prithvi Shaw during last year’s IPL.
The former Australian skipper who had been working with the young Indian batsman for the past two seasons in the Delhi Capitals Camp, recalled how Prithvi Shaw simply refused to bat in the nets after hitting a rough patch in the previous season of IPL.
Ricky Ponting who rates Shaw very high and believes that he can be a future superstar player, questioned the batsman’s unwillingness to work at his game while going through a lean patch.
For the unversed Prithvi Shaw averaged just 17.53 from 13 matches in the 2020 IPL, and his approach in the nets despite the below-average returns seems to have baffled Ponting.
While speaking to ‘cricket.com.au’, Ponting said, “He [Prithvi Shaw] had an interesting theory on his batting last year – when he’s not scoring runs, he won’t bat, and when he is scoring runs, he wants to keep batting all the time,” Ponting said.
“He had four or five games where he made under 10 and I’m telling him, ‘We have to go to the nets and work out (what’s wrong)’, and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘No, I’m not batting today’. I couldn’t work that out.
“I was going pretty hard at him. I was telling him, ‘Mate you’ve got to get in the nets. Whatever you think you’re working on, is not working for you. It’s my job as a coach to challenge someone’s preparation if they’re not getting results.
“So, I challenged him and he stuck to his word and he didn’t practice much at all towards the back-end of the tournament and didn’t get many runs towards the back-end of the tournament either.”
“He might have changed. I know he’s done a lot of work over the last few months, that theory that he had might have changed, and hopefully, it has, because if we can get the best out of him, he could be a superstar player,” he added.
Interestingly, During India’s recent tour of Australia, it was Ponting who memorably predicted Shaw’s dismissal of two balls into the Test Series in Adelaide, said on Commentary that Shaw had a technical issue with balls swinging back to him. Mitchell Starc did exactly that and bowled Shaw for a duck.
However, Ponting is confident that Shaw will make it big Internationally. The former Australian Skipper said that there are visible similarities between Prithvi Shaw and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, right down to their diminutive frames.
Meanwhile, Ricky Ponting joined the DC squad on March 29 and just completed his week-long quarantine required to enter the IPL bio-bubble whereas After being dropped from the Australian Test Series, The 21-year-old Prithvi Shaw had recently scored 827 runs from eight matches for Mumbai in the Vijay Hazare Trophy