Legends like Sunil Gavaskar and Sachin Tendulkar are full of admiration for him. Prithvi Shaw, the new wonder kid of Indian cricket, has been selected in the touring Indian side for the last two tests against England in the ongoing series. Before leaving for England, the right-handed opener from Mumbai gave time to the CricketSoccer.com. The 18 years old cricketer sounded very confident before joining the senior national team for the very first time in his career.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer (CS): Is there any nervousness before joining the senior national team for the very first time in your career, and that too in England?
Prithvi Shaw (PS): I will be lying if I say I’m not feeling the nerves at all. But at the same time, I’m enjoying my time. This is a huge chance for me. If the team management wants me in the playing XI in the fourth or fifth test, I am mentally ready for that. And if I don’t get a chance in the playing XI, I won’t be a loser as I will learn a lot of things while sharing the dressing room with the likes of Virat Kohli and others.
CS: How are you approaching the series? What would be your plan to get accustomed to the English condition?
PS: This is not the first time that I am going to play in England. I have some experience of playing in those conditions. Kailash Ghatani, one of my childhood coaches, took me to England when I was a U16 cricketer. I played a lot of club cricket there on that tour. I have also played there for the India U19 team and India A. I know the difference between Test cricket and other versions of cricket. But I have the knowledge of how to play duke ball in English conditions. My approach to the game is always same irrespective of the venue or the nature of the wicket. See the ball and play to its merit. If there is a chance to hit, go and grab it. If it’s a seemingly unplayable delivery, leave it.
CS: You have the experience of playing for India U 19 and India A along with your stint with Delhi Daredevils and Mumbai Ranji team. Does it make you more matured as a cricketer?
PS: Obviously so. All these experiences will help me a lot in England. I want to thank Gautam Gambhir as well. In the last Indian Premier League at first, I didn’t get much chance to play for Delhi Daredevils. Later, when Gambhir stepped down from the captaincy, he pushed me to open the innings for the Daredevils. He told Ricky Ponting that I should get the opening slot and he is the first person who kept faith in me. He left his place for me and I am grateful to him. I know the conditions won’t be the same but in IPL I faced a lot of international bowlers and it will help me there. And of course, playing in India Under 19 and India A team under the tutelage of Rahul Dravid sir means a lot to me. I have learnt how to approach a big match.
CS: Can you please elaborate one Dravid’s role in your career?
PS: Without Rahul sir, I couldn’t come this far. From the U19 Indian team to India A, I have always got his guidance and you know that how successful he was in England. After getting a call up in the team I talked to my father first, and then I had a conversation with Rahul sir as well. He told me not to change my techniques and just told me to use a lighter bat there. I normally use a heavy bat. But as I have a high back lift, he has advised me to use a lighter bat so that I can manage to swing more spontaneously. Rahul sir has always been very nice to me. He has a wealth of experience and he shares those with me.
CS: A few days back, Sachin Tendulkar, in his newly launched mobile app, advised you not to change your natural technique and play freely. Have you had any conversation with him?
PS: Sachin sir has called me many times and talked about cricket. He has shared his experience with me about how to play well in tough conditions. After my inclusion in the national squad for the ongoing Series, I sought his blessing. He gave me a few tips which I want to apply in England.
CS: Your father is your first coach. How happy is he to get the news of your selection in the Indian team?
PS: He was very happy. But at the same time, he has told me that now it’s my turn to cash on this chance. It was my father’s dream that I would get a chance in the Indian test team and I am happy that it is fulfilled. He left the job only for my cricket and started his own business. I must play to the potential to fulfil his dreams.