Prithvi Shaw, in the headlines for wrong reasons now?

In five innings so far, Shaw has scraped together 15 runs and looked completely out of sorts against pace bowling

Prithvi Shaw (Source: Twitter)
Prithvi Shaw (Source: Twitter)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

Five losses out of five – Delhi Capitals has never had it so bad ever since they were rebranded in 2019 and turned a new leaf in their IPL campaign. It had been a collective failure this season with the exception of skipper David Warner to some extent, but opener Prithi Shaw’s miserable form  had a lot to contribute in the 2020 runners-ups failing to get a single decent start.

In five innings so far, Shaw has scraped together 15 runs and looked completely out of sorts against pace bowling – quite intriguing after a prolific domestic season. A lot of credit for Capitals’ consistent showing over the last four seasons had been due to Shaw and Shikhar Dhawan’s (before he moved to Punjab Kings) explosive starts at the Powerplay – something which had been conspicuously absent this time around.

The abject failure of Shaw had been putting Warner under pressure – with the Australian veteran clearly caught in a dilemma between firing in all cylinders or anchoring the innings.  ‘’Its about getting into the rhythm with a win. There is some disappointment when you lose four games on the trot. We have so many legends and a good team that's why we feel a bit sad,’’ Shaw had opened up ahead of their last game against Royal Challengers Bangalore – but they failed to turn a corner again.

This is not the first time that the 23-year-old, once considered as the next big thing in Indian cricket after his century on Test debut against the West Indies, has got himself into a rut. What compounds the woes for him is, of course, a perception problem – which has an uncanny similarity with Vinod Kambli – which in turn may have often influenced the powers that-be in keeping him out of national reckoning.

Take the recent subjudice episode over the past month –it’s anybody’s guess though if it’s acting as a form of distraction for Shaw.  The former Under-19 World Cup winning captain is facing charges of molestation and assault as per a criminal complaint filed by Sapna Gill, a social media influencer and her boyfriend. The Andheri Magistrate Court in Mumbai has reserved it’s order on the complaint till May 26 – where any unfavourable judgement may deal a body blow to Shaw’s already chequered career.

A lot of dirty linen has been washed in public after Gill was arrested alongwith a few friends for an alleged attack on Shaw following an argument over clicking selfies at an upscale café in Mumbai in February.  Shaw's complaint was registered at the Oshiwara police station which had arrested five persons for abusing and attacking Shaw and damaging his car.

Back in 2019, Shaw was found guilty of ‘inadvertantly’ taking Terbutaline – a banned substance for treating a respiratory tract infection which had the BCCI slapping a retrospective ban on him. He worked hard under Rahul Dravid, then at the helm of National Cricket Academy (NCA) and his mentor to get his confidence back and it paid off.

A buzz of the so-called attitude problem had been often floated against Shaw, though he had fought back from a number of setbacks over form in his short career. It’s time that he avoids getting into headlines for wrong reasons and focus on the job one more time before it’s too late!

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