Prithvi Shaw sinks Assam for redemption
Prithvi Shaw's 39-ball 63 helps Mumbai trounce Assam after Friday's shock defeat to Meghalaya; says he kept away from advisors during an eight-month doping ban.
Prithvi Shaw is back. And how! After serving an eight-month ban for consuming a banned substance, Mumbai's Shaw slammed a 39-ball, match-winning 63 against Assam in a T20 Mushtaq Ali Trophy game at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.
Shaw's knock, laced with seven fours and two sixes, helped the hosts register an 83-run win in their last league game. Shrugging off their shocking loss to Meghalaya on Friday, Mumbai thus returned to their winning ways (five wins on the trot before Friday) to top Group 'D' with 24 points.
Shaw admitted that the ban, caused by failing a dope test during the Mushtaq Ali Trophy last March, was tough but has made him a mentally stronger cricketer. "This period has been a big learning experience for me. Obviously, I committed a mistake. I had no idea what I was consuming. In that period, I was alone and was trying stay away from people and their advice. I kept telling myself that I can get out of this mess and be mentally strong," Shaw said after Mumbai's win on Sunday.
Shaw, 20, admitted that it was not easy to prepare for the comeback game, but he managed to overcome the anxiety thanks to mentoring from former India captain and National Cricket Academy head, Rahul Dravid. "A lot of focus was on training under Rahul sir's guidance. I had to clear the yo-yo test. What also helped was that during the practice nets, good bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron were available and Rahul Sir was always there for guidance and sorting out mental issues.
"I got a lot of love and support from a lot of people. There obviously was a period where I was not feeling too well. But then, as the day of my return drew closer, I started to get my act together. If I had gone into my shell at that point of time, I would have felt pressure during the game. I committed a small mistake, now all that is in the past," said Shaw, who scored 134 on Test debut against the West Indies at Rajkot last year.
"I never thought something like this would happen. I was obviously upset. For the first 20-25 days after I was banned, I was not able to make any sense of things. After that, I stabilised and kept myself mentally strong. Each day was hard," Shaw remarked.
Shaw appeared relieved. "I was desperate to play a game. I was excited about today's game and what better than a victory. I'll keep scoring runs; this is my job," he said.
Shaw felt the support from his father Pankaj during the ban period played a huge role: "My father has stood behind me. In these three months, he was with me like he was during my U-14 and U-16 days. He felt that he needed to be with me."
Mumbai 206-5 in 20 overs (P Shaw 53, A Tare 82, S Lad 32 not out; R Parag 3-30) beat Assam 123-8 in 20 overs (R Parag 38; D Kulkarni 2-28, S Dube 2-3, S Mulani 2-15) by 83 runs.
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