He may have been in news more for his off-field incidents than on it in recent times but Prithvi Shaw has Ricky Ponting’s backing with the Australian convinced that this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) could well be the youngster’s break-out season.
Ponting, the head coach at Delhi Capitals, believes the cricketing world will see the ‘real’ Prithvi Shaw this year. “He’s worked harder and trained better than I have ever seen Prithvi do leading into an IPL. He is in better shape than I have ever seen him before. I spoke to him the other day during training about his attitude and how things have been going, both on and off the field, and I feel this is going to be his biggest season in the IPL,” Ponting said on the sidelines of a promotional event here.
The former Australia captain is also impressed with the work being put in on the field during training by the 23-year-old Mumbai batter. “This season, something seems to have clicked with Prithvi. He’s in a better space than he’s ever been before and he’s done extra work in every session ever since we got together, whether in batting or field, so that’s a great sign. He’s just had that different look in his eyes, he is hungrier than ever. I am sure we are going to see the real Prithvi this year,” Ponting added.
As someone who had his fair share of disciplinary issues as a youngster while starting out in international cricket, Ponting knows how easily things can go sideways for a cricketer. “Two days back, I said that this game, cricket, if you don’t give your 100 per cent to it, it will take everything away from you. But if you put in the hard yards, it will give back all the time. I had some issues early on but in the end, it’s all about being true to yourself and trying to be the best you can be.
“The one thing I always say to my players is I don’t like laziness, I don’t like guys not utilising the talent they have got. And that’s my job as a coach — if I see guys not working as hard as they should and not getting the most out of them, then it’s up to me to change that,” Ponting accepted.
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