The teenage prodigy from Mumbai Prithvi Shaw, who made his First-Class debut earlier this year against Tamil Nadu, has once again grabbed eyeballs of the entire cricketing fraternity by amassing two half-centuries in addition to the scores of 40 and 41 in the ongoing ICC U-19 World Cup in New Zealand.
Prithvi is leading the India U-19 side in the showpiece event and the team have now qualified for the final by beating the arch-rivals Pakistan in the all-important semi-final by 203 runs on Tuesday (January 30).
Given Prithvi’s recent prowess in First-Class cricket as the 18-year-old has already scored 5 tons in 9 matches, India cricket fans were already drawing parallels between Shaw and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar’s batting at a similar stages of their careers. But now Prithvi’s stellar show in the youth World Cup has taken the comparison to a different level altogether. Nonetheless, Shaw’s father Pankaj is unmoved by all these remarks.
“It feels good that the team is in the final (against Australia on Saturday). I hope they win it too, but Prithvi needs to do even better. He needs to keep working harder. Abhi toh bohot chhota hai, abhi toh kuch khela hi nahi hai (he is still young and hasn’t played his best cricket yet). Everyone has a different game, and you can’t compare, especially with the legendary Tendulkar,” Pankaj told Sportstar in an exclusive interview on Tuesday (January 30).
Prithvi’s father also admitted that he doesn’t watch his son play since he gets nervous.
“I don’t watch his matches any more. That’s why I didn’t go to New Zealand. I go for local and club matches only. I get tense. Earlier, I would not even switch on the television unless he was, at least, batting on 60,” he disclosed.
During the recently held IPL auction in Bangalore, Shaw was roped in by the Delhi Daredevils franchise for INR 1.20 crore and Pankaj feels that the Indian Premier League stint will help his son improve by many folds.
“The domestic season made him confident. He faced bowlers like Ishant Sharma and Jaydev Unadkat. It fine-tuned his approach towards international cricket. In the IPL, he will have a chance to improve his fielding too, with so many international players and coaches available to guide him. In Delhi Daredevils, he will get to practice with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Mohammed Shami at the nets, which is a huge boost,” Pankaj asserted.
He also thanked Mumbai Cricket Association for helping Prithvi in his training and every other aspects.
“All this wouldn’t have been possible without Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) facilities at the BKC. Even in the rains, their indoor nets come handy,” concluded Pankaj.