Swashbuckling opener Prithvi Shaw, who didn't find a place in the Indian playing XI for the T20I series opener against New Zealand here on Friday, has revealed that his father advised him to keep his focus intact after the right-hander batter made a comeback to the national team for the three-game series.
Known for his attacking approach, Shaw was a compelling opening batter option for India in T20Is but the Hardik Pandya led side, in the first match, went ahead with Shubman Gill, who has been in sensational form in ODI cricket.
"It has been a long time that I wasn't a part of this team but I am happy to be back and everyone, my dad, they were happy as well because the call-up came after a long time. I worked really hard for the call up so was really happy. The team was announced late at night, I think around 10.30 pm.
When I got to know, I was sleeping and my phone was on silent. I got up to go to the washroom and I saw my phone and there were lots of calls and messages. My phone was getting hanged. I was like, what exactly happened. Then I saw that I got selected for the T20s. I texted some of my friends, and dad about the call-up," said Shaw in a video posted on bcci.tv on Friday.
"There was no celebration because I was playing in Assam at that time but he (dad) was pretty happy and met him after playing Ranji Trophy game in Delhi. He said that keep your focus, now that you are back in the team. Make sure if you get the chance, you score the runs and make the team win," he added.
Shaw earned a call-up for T20Is against New Zealand on the back of consistent performances in domestic cricket, including amassing 332 runs at a strike rate of 181.42 with a highest score of 134 against Assam, finishing second in the list of top run-getters in Mumbai's victorious campaign at the 2022/23 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
"There were ups and downs in these few years. And you learn something everyday. I just worked hard on it and tried to be as cool as possible. I worked on myself and tried to be cool as well as focus and process on getting my routine right. People say if the process is good, then you can play badly in 2-3 matches but you'll eventually get a chance to score big runs," he said.
The 23-year-old last played for India in a T20I in July 2021, and remarked that he is now happy to be back in the national side.
"I played 5 Test matches and then I was off for a while and I had some technique issues. First, I didn't use to bat that much. I used to bat around 40-45 mins," the opener said.
"After that, I started batting however much I could like a couple of hours with my coach in Mumbai for getting my technique right. I like to stay in the present so I won't really think much ahead. If you talk about this series, I want India to win. That's the first thing in my mind definitely when I play for India. Secondly, whenever I get the chance I'll give my 100 per cent," he added.
Earlier this year, Shaw had hit a mammoth 379 off 383 balls against Assam in the Ranji Trophy, making it the second-highest individual score ever in India's premier domestic cricket competition. His innings included 49 fours and four sixes and came at a strike rate of 99.
"I was really happy after the record. I just played my game and I didn't do anything special that day. I just had the belief that I can keep this thing going. After 100, after 200, I didn't give up. I was like, " you have to push. I was still disappointed as I need 20-25 more runs to get 400," he concluded.
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