Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra ran to the defence of under-fire Prithvi Shaw and stated that the youngster should open the batting for India in the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. Shaw has endured a torrid time in IPL 2020, but Chopra believes that the youngster will succeed in whites.
After a bright start to his IPL 2020 campaign - scoring two fifties in the first five games - Prithvi Shaw’s season fell off a cliff and him posting scores of 19, 4, 0, 0 and 7 saw the management take the ruthless call of axing him from the first XI. Underwhelming returns from his replacement, Ajinkya Rahane, saw Shaw get back into the side, but there were no signs of improvement and the 20-year-old posted scores of 9 and 10 in two innings post his reintegration.
While Shaw’s dwindling returns have been a worry, his manner of dismissals are what have rung alarm bells across the country, and with the youngster having been picked as a part of the Indian side to take Australia on in a four-Test series, questions have been raised over Shaw’s proficiency to succeed in daunting batting conditions.
Calls for Kohli to overlook Shaw, who played in the New Zealand series earlier this year, as a starter have increased over the past week and a half but former opener Aakash Chopra has begged to differ. Chopra, who opened for India in the 2003/04 Border Gavaskar Trophy series Down Under, took to Twitter to bat for the inclusion of Shaw and claimed that the 20-year-old ‘has’ to open the batting in the first Test. Chopra noted that IPL was different to Test cricket and hoped for the Mumbaikar to get back to form in time for the crunch series.
“Prithvi has to open for India in Tests in Australia. First match is under lights with the pink ball. I know IPL is not Tests. Different formats and all. But it’s still bat vs ball. I really hope and pray that he finds form,” read Chopra’s Tweet.
The 2020-21 tour of Australia will be Shaw’s second experience Down Under. The youngster was set to feature in the 2018/19 series and even struck a half-century in a warm-up game, but rolled his ankle in the practice encounter, due to which he had to give the entire tour a miss.