Mumbai batsman Prithvi Shaw, who has been in superb form in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy, told The Indian Express that he felt “worthless” after being dropped from the Indian team after failing in the first Test in Australia.

Shaw was dismissed for scores of 0 and 4 in the opening Test of the recent Test series in Australia and was replaced at the top of the order. The 21-year-old, however, has bounced back in style by topping the run-scorers list in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with one game still to be played.

The right-hander has amassed 754 runs at an average of 188.5 to power Mumbai to the final. He first became the highest individual scorer in history of the 50-over championships as he smashed an unbeaten 227 off just 152 balls to help Mumbai thrash Puducherry. He followed that up with an unbeaten 185 in the quarter-finals against Saurashtra and a match-winning 165 against Karnataka in the semis.

How Prithvi Shaw bounced back from Australia tour to a spectacular run at Vijay Hazare Trophy

Now, Shaw has spoken about the tough period he had to overcome during and after the Australia tour to get to this position. The opener said that he was “confused” about why he got bowled in both the innings of the pink ball Test in Adelaide.

“I stood in front of the mirror and said to myself ‘I am not as bad a player as everyone is saying I am’.” said Shaw.

He said that he analysed his batting with Team India head coach Ravi Shastri and batting coach Vikram Rathour and realised that his bat was coming down away from his body as he prepared to play a stroke. Shaw said he also spoke with legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who advised him to not make too many changes and simply focus on playing closer to the body.

“I was in complete tension when I was dropped after the first Test (in Australia),” said Shaw. “I got a feeling like I was worthless though I was happy that the team was doing well. I said to myself ‘I need to pull up my socks’. There is a saying, ‘hard work beats talent’. I told myself all this talent is fine but it’s of no use if I don’t work hard. It was the saddest day of my life (when I was dropped). I went to my room and broke down. I felt like something wrong was happening. I needed answers quickly.”

Shaw also said that it is his never-say-die attitude that has helped him return to form. He said that the disappointment he faced in Australia was the first of its kind but he was prepared to dig deep and find a solution.

“I never give up easily. Main Virar ka ladka hoon (I am a Virar boy), I have come from the streets,” said Shaw. “I know how to bounce back. I have always kept the team above me, be it club, Mumbai or India. If you want me to score 1 run in 100 balls, then I can try but that’s not me. That’s not my game. I can’t play like that. I have never been in such a situation like I was in Australia but I have worked hard now. Spent hours and hours in nets to rectify.”

Read the full interview by The Indian Express here.