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Why was Prithvi Shaw dropped from the Indian team?

By Bet Barter

July 12, 2021

An 18-year-old cricketer does not always get handed the maiden Test cap by Virat Kohli unless it's Prithvi Shaw. He was given the chance to play for India at the International level during a home Test match against West Indies in 2018. Even though it was his first time playing at the international level, he performed impressively. 

Prithvi Shaw finished his debut Test match as the second youngest Indian since Sachin Tendulkar to score a Test century. He also became the youngest Indian to score a century on his Test debut. 

Interestingly, it was not the first time that he broke a record held by Sachin Tendulkar. In 2017 as well, 17-year-old Shaw became the youngest player to score a century in Duleep Trophy debut.

After his spectacular Test debut, Prithvi Shaw was compared to many legendary players. The Indian team easily whitewashed the WI 2-0. Prithvi Shaw was lauded by everyone for his exceptional performance with the bat. The compliments were easy to the ears but the standards that were set for Shaw were not easy to live up to. 

During 2020, Shaw went from being compared to legendary cricketers to getting dropped from multiple games during the Border Gavaskar Trophy

He was made to open the match for India against players like Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. It was his second away Test series and his form took a dip against Aussies bowlers. His performance in Australia brought into light technical challenges that demanded more than just rectification. 

Prithvi Shaw was dropped from the Test against Australia after he failed to play against high-quality bowling in challenging conditions. He was dismissed two times in a row after which he was benched for the rest of the series.

Needless to say, the added pressure that Shaw carried for being an opener also affected his performance in Australian conditions. He used minimal foot movements and just played with his hands. It is common for players to do that when the ball moves a lot. 

Nevertheless, Prithvi Shaw's dismissal from the series was an inaccurate reflection of his batting capabilities. He got judged early when his talent actually goes far beyond his ability to play in the red-ball format. But the Indian cricket circle has many great players where there is no place for forgiveness if one makes a mistake. It does not matter that a player was once hailed as the next great of Indian cricket. If someone fails to perform then that player can get easily replaced with a player of a similar caliber. So, performing consistently is extremely important to play in the national team.

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