Dubai: India’s promising batsman Prithvi Shaw is back with a bang.
Staging a comeback after serving an eight-month suspension for a failed dope test, Shaw displayed his form by scoring the third fastest double century in the history of the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai against Baroda on Wednesday.
Shaw, was only 19 when he consumed cough syrup that contained prohibited substance terbutaline.
Former Indian skipper Dilip Vengsarkar, immediately after the ban was imposed on Shaw, had termed the eight-month suspension as harsh for a young man who may have not known the difference between a cough syrup and a banned substance.
He had argued that a lighter punishment of three months would have been apt for such a talented batsman.
Shaw who turned 20 last month, announced that he will score heavily again through his first tournament after the ban in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with three half-centuries in five matches before going on to hit his double ton.
Speaking to Gulf News from Mumbai, Vengsarkar said: “Shaw is an outstanding cricketer and there is no question about his abilities. It was a big jolt he had to face because he had a cough syrup which contained a banned substance. Now he is more mature and will be wiser too. He is playing extremely well. The amount of shots he has in repertoire is amazing. He reminds me of (Virender) Sehwag for the number of shots he plays and he can clear the ground at will.”
Before the ban, Shaw had played in two Test matches and scored 134 in his debut against West Indies at Rajkot in October 2018.
After the ban he declared that he could come back stronger as he felt there is no greater pride than playing for India and Mumbai.
Vengsarkar, who had watched the rise of Shaw over the years, added: “He will be a matured player from now on. He was the captain of the Indian team that lifted the under-19 World Cup. Only thing he needs to improve is his fitness and fielding. He needs to look into that department seriously because fielding is very important and he need to work hard on his fitness. Shaw hadn’t wasted his time during the ban. He went to England and trained there too. He was in the game all the time and now he is back with a bang. He is determined now. He has a lot of shots and that he plays them with disdain. I hope he comes back into the Indian squad because he is young, and now more passionate and determined. This is a good sign for him and Indian cricket as well.”
Many former cricketers too feel that if Shaw can rise to his full potential, he will go a long way. As a 14-year-old he had caught the attention of the world by playing a knock of 546 runs for his school Rizvi Springfield in Harris Shield tournament in 2013. He went on to hit centuries on debut in Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy and even became the youngest Indian Test cricket centurion on debut.
If not for the cough syrup he may have become the most talked about youngster in world cricket. Shaw is now keen to make it happen.