Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting has revealed that opening batsman Prithvi Shaw refused to bat in the nets when he struggled to get runs during the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
In an interview with cricket.com.au, the former Australia captain said that the young right-hander had a theory that he would bat extra in the nets when he was in form but not practice at all when he was going through a lean patch.
Ponting said that Shaw’s approach baffled him and he reckoned it stopped him from realising his immense potential.
“I’ve tried (taking Shaw under his wing) the last two years and I’ve really enjoyed working with him,” said Ponting. “...but he had an interesting theory on his batting last year – when he’s not scoring runs, he won’t bat, and when he is scoring runs, he wants to keep batting all the time.
“He had four or five games where he made under 10 and I’m telling him, ‘We have to go to the nets and work out (what’s wrong)‘, and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘No, I’m not batting today’. I couldn’t really work that out.”
Ponting added: “He might have changed. I know he’s done a lot of work over the last few months, that theory that he had might have changed, and hopefully, it has, because if we can get the best out of him, he could be a superstar player.”
Shaw was far from his best during IPL 2020 and hit just two half-centuries in 13 matches with an average of 17.53. He failed to score more than 20 runs in each of his last eight innings in the campaign and was eventually dropped from the playing XI, even as DC found their way to a runners-up finish.
The 21-year-old, however, heads into IPL 2021 full of confidence on the back of a phenomenal Vijay Hazare Trophy recently, where he amassed the most number of runs in a single edition of the 50-over tournament’s history – 827 runs, including four centuries, in eight innings at an average of 165.40.
Ponting said that he was tough on Shaw during IPL 2020 but that didn’t help much. The legendary batsman hopes the youngster can deliver for DC in the upcoming IPL season, especially since the team will be without the services of regular skipper Shreyas Iyer who is out with a shoulder injury.
“I was going pretty hard at him,” said Ponting. “I was basically telling him, ‘Mate you’ve got to get in the nets. Whatever you think you’re working on, is not working for you’.”
“It’s my job as a coach to challenge someone’s preparation if they’re not getting results. So I challenged him and he stuck to his word and he didn’t practice much at all towards the back-end of the tournament, and didn’t get many runs towards the back-end of the tournament either.
“If we can get him to take that form that he’s just shown into the IPL, it just makes the balance on our Delhi Capital side so good. If (the penny) does drop – I’m not sure I’ve seen many more talented players than him in my whole time of playing the game.”
Read Ricky Ponting’s full interview with Cricket Australia here.