After enduring a challenging period of recuperation from a knee injury sustained during his county stint with Northamptonshire last year, Prithvi Shaw has made a strong return to competitive cricket in the Ranji Trophy match against Chhattisgarh at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur.
He had a modest outing in his first match back, where he managed to score only 35 runs off 42 balls against Bengal. However, it was in his second innings after returning from injury that Shaw truly showcased his prowess with the bat. The 24-year-old opener exhibited sublime form, hammering an impressive century (159 off 185 deliveries) against Chhattisgarh.
Shaw’s magnificent knock saw him smashing 18 boundaries and three towering sixes. The Indian opener reached his century mark before lunch, facing merely 107 balls for his ton. He inflicted significant damage on the opposition bowlers before eventually being dismissed by Vishvash Malik.
Having missed out on participation in two white-ball domestic tournaments – the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy – the 24-year-old Shaw’s return to competitive cricket has been keenly anticipated. The youngster has had a career mixed with highs and lows; inconsistency has remained the biggest concern for Shaw so far, with his performances in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last year drawing significant criticism.
Shaw scored only 106 runs in eight matches for the Delhi Capitals and was publicly criticised by head coach Ricky Ponting mid-way through the season. Despite the low scores, the right-handed opener was eventually retained by the Capitals ahead of the 2024 Auction.
Shaw regained form during his stint in English county cricket. He impressed with the bat, amassing 429 runs in just four innings, a highlight being his record-breaking knock of 244 runs off 153 balls against Somerset. However, his promising campaign was abruptly halted when he sustained a knee injury while fielding in a match against Durham.
The youngster has been away from contention for international action for the past three years; his last appearance for the Indian team came in July 2021 during the white-ball series against Sri Lanka. Following that, a combination of erratic performances and disciplinary concerns have resulted in his absence from the Indian squad. However, Shaw will now focus on leveraging his current momentum to deliver standout performances, with the goal of reestablishing himself as a contender for international selection.