After a stellar domestic season, in which he scored 827 runs in the 50-over Vijay Hazare Trophy followed by an impressive show for Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League, Prithvi Shaw was expecting to be on the flight to Sri Lanka for the limited-overs tour.
Before leaving for the island nation, Shaw spoke about working with coach Rahul Dravid, his batting and various other issues.
You will be playing under Rahul Dravid again?
There is a different kind of mazaa (enjoyment) playing under Rahul sir. He was our India under-19 coach. The way he speaks, the way he shares his coaching experience, is just amazing. Whenever he talks about the game, it shows how much experience he brings to the table. He knows everything about cricket. The way he speaks on conditions and how to use them, is just out of this world.
Did you speak to him recently?
On A tours, I did speak to him. When I got banned for doping, he called and said, “This is part of life. It’s ok. It wasn’t my fault and I will come back stronger.” It felt really nice that he talked to me even during my bad phase.
What are you looking forward to most?
As Rahul sir is there, one will expect discipline in the dressing room. I’m looking ahead to the practice sessions with Rahul sir because I love to speak to him for hours. This tour, I just have to grab the opportunity. I was desperate to get back in the Indian team. I have always kept the team above me. Be it India, Ranji Trophy team, club or my school team. I want to give my best.
How big a relief was it for you to be picked for India again?
It felt nice. I was scoring runs and somewhere there was a feeling that I should get a call again, because of the way I was batting and runs were behind me.
Do you take advice or listen to everyone but in the end, take your own decisions?
I do listen to advice. If I am committing the same mistake again and again, I listen to advice and rectify them.
(Ricky) Ponting once said that you hate practice when you are out of form. Is it the same now?
It’s the same now. Personally, I feel that if I push harder – especially when things are not going right for me – it just doesn’t happen to me. I’m not the one who tries to show others that I’m working hard. Ek andar se awaaz aati hai, ke bus ab aur nahi. (There is a voice from within, which says ‘no more’). I don’t force myself. I just take a break then and start again next time when I feel I’m feeling much better.
How did you spend your time post IPL?
Post IPL, I went to my farmhouse in Alibag. I came back a few weeks ago and started out with trainer Rajni, who is helping Shreyas Iyer too. I didn’t have any practice session as everything was closed in Mumbai.
Did the perception about you change, especially after the way you batted for Delhi Capitals?
Everyone knew that I had worked hard on my batting and there is some change in my technique too. During the Australia tour, there was lot of talk about my technique. There was talk about my fitness. This time, everyone felt and saw that I have worked hard. I was just eager to make my comeback. I don’t bother what others feel but I felt I needed to improve on a daily basis.
Did you speak to Ponting? What kind of conversations did you have with him?
We had just a normal chat. I was looking in good touch, so he used to encourage me. We didn’t speak about batting but he spoke more on strategies, how the team needs a good start.
Before the IPL, you had a tremendous Vijay Hazare Trophy. Was there any doubt about how things will pan out?
No. Actually during the Vijay Hazare Trophy, I felt the hunger for more and more runs, to finish games. I was focused and disciplined. I didn’t waste time anymore on things which I felt were irrelevant.
How do you rate (Delhi Capitals’ Rishabh) Pant as captain?
He handles on-field matters and Ricky sir will chip in. He has a lot of confidence in his team and trusts everyone.