Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting revealed that Prithvi Shaw has a ‘theory’ where he does not hit the nets when he’s out of form, and added that the 21-year-old refused to practice towards the fag end of IPL 2020. Ponting revealed that he was irked by Shaw’s flummoxing preparation.
IPL 2020 happened to be the start of a torrid few months for Prithvi Shaw as the youngster, after starting the season in fine fashion, saw his form take a nosedive. In his last 7 games of the season, Shaw registered scores of 4, 0, 0, 7, 10, 9,0 and this hideous form saw the Capitals management lose faith in the right-hander and drop him for the knockout stage of the competition. This drop would end up hurting Shaw’s confidence, and it wouldn’t be until the Vijay Hazare Trophy in February that he would turn his fortunes around.
Shaw’s struggles have been well documented, but, ahead of the new season, Capitals’ Head Coach Ricky Ponting made an interesting revelation about the youngster. Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting revealed that Shaw had this theory where he refused to bat in the nets when he was not scoring runs in the middle.
"I've tried (taking Shaw under his wing) the last two years and I've really enjoyed working with him," Ponting told cricket.com.au before departing for India. "I've had some really interesting chats with him through last year's IPL, just trying to break him down, trying to find out exactly what was the right way to coach him and how I was going to get the best out of him. But he had an interesting theory on his batting last year – when he's not scoring runs, he won't bat, and when he is scoring runs, he wants to keep batting all the time,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
"He had four or five games where he made under 10 and I'm telling him, 'We have to go to the nets and work out (what's wrong)', and he looked me in the eye and said, 'No, I'm not batting today. I couldn't really work that out.
"He might have changed. I know he's done a lot of work over the last few months, that theory that he had might have changed, and hopefully it has, because if we can get the best out of him, he could be a superstar player."
By the time the fag end of the season approached, Shaw, much to Delhi’s dismay, became a walking wicket, and Ponting revealed that he was irked by the actions of the 21-year-old, who according to him refused to hit the nets despite finding it difficult to buy a run. Ponting said that he ‘went hard’ at Shaw for sticking to the no-practice theory.
"I was going pretty hard at him. I was basically telling him, 'Mate you've got to get in the nets. Whatever you think you're working on, is not working for you'.
"It's my job as a coach to challenge someone's preparation if they're not getting results. So I challenged him and he stuck to his word and he didn't practice much at all towards the back-end of the tournament, and didn't get many runs towards the back-end of the tournament either."
Shaw will enter IPL 2021 in a much better headspace, having endured a record-breaking Vijay Hazare Trophy season, but Ponting hoped for the youngster to have changed his attitude with regards to training. Ponting earmarked Shaw as a potential next-gen superstar and asserted that a change in attitude could help the 21-year-old scale incredible heights in international cricket.
"Maybe (his training habits) have changed for the better, because (his success) won't just be for the Delhi Capitals, I'm sure you'll see him play a lot of cricket for India as well in the coming years," said Ponting.
"He's diminutive … in the (Sachin) Tendulkar sort of mould but hits the ball incredibly powerfully off front and back foot, and plays spin really well. If we can get him to take that form that he's just shown into the IPL, it just makes the balance on our Delhi Capital side so good.
"If (the penny) does drop – I'm not sure I've seen many more talented players than him in my whole time of playing the game."