‘People who don’t know me are commenting about me; I ignore it’: Prithvi Shaw has a message to his critics

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Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw hit the second-highest score in the Ranji Trophy history when he slammed 379 against Assam. Maharashtra’s Bhausheb Nimbalkar had scored unbeaten 443 runs against Kathiawar in December 1948. Shaw’s innings came in 383 balls with 49 fours and four sixes.

In a chat with The Indian Express, Shaw spoke about his knock and and the negative stereotypes that surrounds him

EXCERPTS

Can you take us through your record innings today? What were you thinking overnight?

I wasn’t thinking much that I have to create a record today. When I came back after scoring 240 runs, I left those runs at the ground itself. I just wanted to start fresh from zero. I was blank and was just playing as per merit of the ball. I just went there, took a fresh guard and started on a fresh day. I didn’t know it was a record, I was told inside the dressing room that I hit the second highest score.

How tough was it to control your aggressive instincts and not get ahead of yourself?

I was batting well but I wasn’t getting runs. Sometimes you just have to play the situation, put your head down and play as per the conditions. Sometimes you have to play something completely different than your game. It comes with maturity, today, I was just thinking about playing all grounded shots as the outfield was good. The ball was also keeping low and it wasn’t easy to play square of the pitch, so I was scoring more in V areas.

Did you try to speak to any seniors or did anyone call you with suggestions about your batting?

No, no one came and said anything. Today, I just played my natural game and kept my head down.

There is always some kind of talk going around you. Many feel fame/money has gone to your head and there are some issues. Did anyone speak to you about this? Be it team management or anyone in decision making?

No one came and spoke to me directly. Few people just wrote/commented on what they felt. I ignore it. I know that I’m doing my process. Many people who don’t know me at all are commenting about me. Sometimes I see those comments and just ignore them. I know what I have to do, those people writing on social media doesn’t matter to me. I just look at myself and try to improve as a player.

How tough it is not to get selected despite being in reckoning? You are still young. Did it hurt you?

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Sometimes I do get hurt once you are at peak and don’t get picked. Joh mere hath mein nahi hai uska dukh bana ke kya fyada.( What’s the use of being sad about something you can’t control). If God decides he will give me another opportunity, I will try to perform for India again. As I said there is no point in thinking too much, at the moment, I want to do well for Mumbai first.

Did any past national selector speak to you, on where you are lacking?

Yes they spoke to me and everything was fine. I was picked for the Indian team against New Zealand and they told me to perform well and I feel I did. They came and told me keep my fitness and keep working hard.

Is it tough or how it is to always be under scrutiny. It looks like no one is giving much breathing space to you?

Sometimes it happens and I ask why everyone is doing this to me. At the same time I’m mentally strong. I want to take care of myself because it’s only me who has to come out of whatever is happening around me. I’m trying to follow my schedule before the game. I go to sleep early before any game, and don’t eat anything which will harm my body. I see social media but I’m not glued to it, I have a social media manager, who manages it. People do question you once you are not performing, I have seen that if you don’t do well, people will question you. It’s ok, part and parcel of the life and I have to accept it.


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