Anil Kumble asserted that the forthcoming IPL season holds pivotal importance for Prithvi Shaw’s career, emphasizing the make-or-break nature of this opportunity.

Anil Kumble, the former Team India coach, emphasizes the critical nature of the upcoming IPL season for Prithvi Shaw, retained by Delhi Capitals amidst concerns following a disappointing last season where he scored merely 106 runs in eight matches with an average of 13.25 and a strike rate below 125.

Despite being a constant presence in the Delhi Capitals squad since 2018, Shaw’s performance has seen a continuous decline. Having opened the batting in 71 IPL matches, his average stands at a modest 23.86, comprising 13 half-centuries without any centuries to his credit.

Kumble, speaking to Jio Cinema, highlighted the contrasting trajectories of Shaw and his contemporaries like Shubman Gill, emphasizing how Shaw needs to recognize and capitalize on this make-or-break opportunity.

“This is something that he needs to understand. Players that have played with him have gone ahead . For example Shubman Gill, who is one of India’s best players, and a young player who is looking at a future with the team for a long time. And Shaw has missed out on that. So this is simply a make or break season for him,” Kumble said.

Shaw, presently recovering from a knee injury during his county stint with Northamptonshire, exhibited remarkable form in the One Day Cup, notably scoring an astounding 244 runs off 153 balls, inclusive of 28 fours and 11 sixes, becoming the third player to notch a double century in the tournament’s history. Despite featuring in just four matches, Shaw averaged 143 at a striking 152.66, securing two centuries.

However, the former coach stressed Shaw’s necessity to focus more on fitness than cricketing skills. Kumble highlighted the importance of fitness in modern cricket, citing Shaw’s substitutions under the Impact Player rule in IPL 2023.

“Prithvi Shaw has to look at his fitness. I think that’s something that is constantly spoken about. It’s not about his cricketing skills. Yes, there might be some chinks in his armor like all batters do. We’ve seen that he’s someone who can take the game away in the T20 format. He’s still young but he needs to work on his fitness. If Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly, David Warner can’t get him to work on his fitness then it’s a challenge,” Kumble added.

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Last Updated on December 4, 2023

Senior Sports Copywriter