He looked me in the eye & said 'No, I'm not batting': Ricky Ponting on when Prithvi Shaw refused to bat in DC nets
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting made a major revelation about opener Prithvi Shaw ahead of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021). The former Australian skipper, who has been working with the young Indian batsman for the past two seasons in the DC camp, recalled how the latter simply refused to bat in the nets after hitting a rough patch in the previous season of IPL.
While speaking to ‘cricket.com.au’, Ponting said, “He [Prithvi Shaw] 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 said.
“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.
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“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,” he added.
Ponting joined the DC squad on March 29 and just completed his week-long quarantine required to enter the IPL bio-bubble. He said he did not hold back from giving a piece of his mind to the youngster last year but he ‘stuck to his word’ and did not practice towards the business end of the tournament.
“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.”
However, Ponting is confident that Shaw will make it big internationally. The former Australia skipper said there are visible similarities between Shaw and the great Sachin Tendulkar, right down to their diminutive frames.
“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 the front and back foot, and plays spin really well,” he said.
Shaw heads to the IPL on the back of a sensational Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign with champions Mumbai. Leading the side to victory, he scored four centuries and ended the tournament as the top scorer.
“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 Capitals 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,” Ponting said.