Prithvi Shaw posts second-highest total in Ranji Trophy history with his knock of 379

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Former Maharashtra cricketer Bhausaheb Nimbalkar’s 443 against Kathiawar in Pune back in 1948-49 is the highest score in the Ranji Trophy’s nine-decade-long history.

The 23-year-old India cricketer was looking in his zone and was looking to touch the 400-run mark to enter another elite club but his marathon innings ended on 379 off 383 balls when he was given leg before off Riyan Parag.

Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan bag fourteen awards in the MCA Awards ceremonyPrithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan bag fourteen awards in the MCA Awards ceremony

If one looks at his career, Shaw’s affinity to play big knocks is nothing new. The right-handed batter first grabbed national headlines when he hit 546 in a Harris Shield elite division match at the age of 13 in 2013. The youngster went on to lead India’s U19 side in 2018 and ended up winning the tournament as well.

Ajinkya Rahane smashes second double hundred in domestic seasonAjinkya Rahane smashes second double hundred in domestic season

The promising young batter got his India call-up soon after and entered an elite club by slamming a ton on his Test debut. However, injuries and fitness issues ruled him out of the national side and the youngster is doing everything right on his part to get into the national reckoning.

Frustration on continuous India snub

A few months ago, Shaw posted a message on his Instagram handle: “Hope you are watching everything, Sai Baba”. It was a young man desperately seeking some divine intervention after being pushed to a corner. He was being judged by people who didn’t even know him and those fair-weather friends weren’t around when he needed them most.

“I think that post was just about if he (Sai Baba) is watching or not. That wasn’t for anyone. It was a deeply personal thing,” Prithvi’s voice was unusually calm as he spoke to PTI after his marathon 379 off 383 balls in a Ranji Trophy match against Assam in Guwahati.

Call it Indian cricket’s voluminous supply of talent or his pure bad luck, Prithvi has scored runs across formats and in terms of sheer talent, he should have been in the team. But perceptions in Indian cricket fly thick and fast which can make or break careers. “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 yourself, 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. I 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 don’t 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.”

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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, Shubman Gill and Abhimanyu Easwaran ahead of him in the Test pecking order, one doesn’t know how the door will be unlocked.

prithvi shaw

“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.”

I wasn’t out and could have made 400, Prithvi laments

A score of 400 doesn’t happen every day in first-class cricket. Had he not been adjudged LBW off Riyan Parag, 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 a 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 Ajinkya 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.

(With PTI inputs)

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