Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw managed just a solitary half-century in a total of 160 runs across seven first-class innings this season. However, on Tuesday he came up with a career-best unbeaten 240 against Assam on Day One of their Elite Group ‘B’ Ranji Trophy game in Guwahati.
Skipper Ajinkya Rahane (73 not out) was giving Shaw company when Mumbai ended the opening day with an impressive 397-2.
Surprisingly, host captain Gokul Sharma asked Mumbai to bat on the Amingaon Cricket Ground pitch and the visitors capitalised on the opportunity. Shaw and young Musheer Khan (42) stitched 123 runs for the opening wicket. One-drop Armaan Jaffer (27) was run out, but Shaw and Rahane frustrated Assam with an unbeaten 200-run stand for the third wicket.
‘Played with more patience’
Shaw, 23, revealed how he got his rhythm back and managed to convert a good start into a big one to score his 12th first-class hundred. “I was playing with more patience today [Tuesday]. I was trying to play mostly in the V [between mid-on and mid-off], waiting for loose balls to play my shots. I was not thinking about scoring big because I hardly had any big scores recently. I was totally blank when I occupied the crease in the morning,” Shaw told mid-day from Guwahati on Tuesday.
Prior to Tuesday’s knock, Shaw’s run of scores over the last seven innings read 13, 6, 19, 4, 68, 35 and 15. The low scores caused him to introspect. “I was batting well [in the last few games] but… I visualised what had happened. I was maintaining a diary and writing down my mistakes—where I was missing, whether it was a process which I was not able to complete in the right way, how many hours I was sleeping before the match, whether I was doing my running and strength conditioning properly.
A sense of relief
“I knew that if I follow the process correctly I will get good results. I knew I could bounce back at any time. I believed I could do it. I back myself by believing in my abilities, which helped me score big,” remarked Shaw. When asked whether this knock gave him a sense of relief, he said: “Yes, when you score a double hundred, obviously you get a certain kind of relief. But I don’t want to stop here. It won’t be the case of taking it easy. My approach will be the same whenever I bat. I am still hungry for a another big knock.”
Good support from skipper
The attacking batsman, who smashed 33 fours and a six during his 283-ball stay at the crease, also credited Rahane for Mumbai’s imposing score. “We were enjoying ourselves in the middle. We had good conversations and if any of us made a mistake or felt lazy, we spoke with each other. We were playing like we were playing a Test, not thinking too much and trying to play
on the merit of the ball.”
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According to Shaw, Mumbai are aiming to bat only once in the game—build a big total and then get the opponents out twice. Doubtless, he’ll take fresh guard today. “The ball was keeping low, so I avoided playing the sweep, cut and pull shots initially. When I reached 100, I was blank and I was the same when I got the double hundred. Tomorrow [Wednesday] too I will not think too much, I will start from zero,” he signed off.
Mumbai 397-2 (P Shaw 240*, A Rahane 73*, M Khan 42; M Hussain 1-79) v Assam