Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], January 27 (ANI): Ahead of his side's first T20I against New Zealand at Ranchi, India batter Prithvi Shaw, who made his return to the national side after a long while, recalled his journey over the last 18 months, which he said included a lot of 'ups and downs' and got him working on becoming a better cricketer.
India will take on New Zealand in the first T20I at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.
"Wearing the Test cup was a proud moment for me and wearing it was a different feeling. I always wanted to play Tests for India. The first-call up was really special. There were ups and downs these few years. But you learn something from it. I worked hard and tried to be as cool as possible. Getting the process and routines right. I played five Tests and was off for a while. I had some technique issues that people talked about and I felt its presence too. I earlier used to bat for 40-45 minutes in the nets. Then after this, I started to bat as much as possible, like for a couple of hours with my coach, trying to get my technique right," said Shaw in a video posted by BCCI.
"It has been a tough journey in these 18 months. There were people who supported me throughout my career, who stood besides me in this phase and kept supporting me even when I was not playing for India. Rahul sir (Dravid) and Paras sir (bowling coach Paras Mhambrey) have been there for me since I was 16. It feels nice to know that they are doing pretty well now," added Shaw.
Shaw had last represented India in an international match in a T20I against Sri Lanka on July 25, 2021. Since then, he has piled on the runs in domestic cricket.
Earlier in January, he scored 379 runs in a Ranji Trophy match against Assam, which is the second-highest individual score in the history of the tournament and the highest by a Mumbai batter.
With 332 runs at a strike rate of 181.42 with a highest score of 134 against Assam, he finished second in the list of top run-getters at the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year.
He scored 217 runs in seven innings at the Vijay Hazare Trophy last year, but averages above 50 in List A cricket. In the 2021-22 Ranji Trophy season, he agregated 355 runs in six matches at an average of 35.50, with three fifties.
The batter said that he is happy to be back in the national side. "It has been long since I was a part of this team, but I am happy to be back. My dad and everyone were happy because this call-up came after a long time. I really worked hard for it," said Shaw.
He said he did not expect being recalled to the national side since the current players in the set-up were doing really well.
Disclosing how he came to know about his recall to the national side, Shaw added, "I was sleeping and my phone was on silent. I saw a lot of messages and calls and my phone was hung. Then I checked that I was called back into the national side. There were no celebrations since I was playing in Assam. But he (his father) was quite happy. I went to Delhi after playing in Assam. After my return from Delhi, he was happy. He told me to keep focus and make the best of my chances."
Shaw said he is not thinking too far ahead and wants to stay in the present.
"I want India to win the series. I want to win matches for my country and give more than 100 per cent for the team in every area," said Shaw.
India's T20I squad against New Zealand: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Prithvi Shaw, Mukesh Kumar. (ANI)