“Prithvi Shaw is one I feel can be a very aggressive captain, a very successful captain because you see that aggression in the way a person plays the sport”, expressed Gautam Gambhir as quoted by ESPN Cricinfo at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) event in New Delhi.
Hardik Pandya also found mention as a future captain, but he has already led India in T20I cricket. However, Shaw has not been part of the Indian team since July 2021.
After India’s debacle in the recently concluded T20 world cup, Hardik has been mentioned as a possible successor to Rohit Sharma, at least in T20Is.
Earlier this year, Hardik led Gujarat Titans to their maiden IPL title and led India to a 2-0 success against Ireland in a T20I series. A recent example of his leadership was the 1-0 series win India achieved in New Zealand in the absence of seasoned players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul.
Gambhir said that Hardik was in contention. However, he felt judging Rohit Sharma, who has been a consistent performer for India, on the basis of one World Cup (T20) would be unfair.
“Hardik Pandya obviously is in line,” Gambhir said. “But that’s going to be unfortunate for Rohit because I think judging his captaincy in only one ICC event is not the right way to probably judge him,” opined Gambhir.
As for Shaw, he has struggled to find a regular place in India’s A and B squads; and there was an ambiguity in which format Gambhir found Shaw as a leader.
During Shaw’s short career, he has endured more than just inconsistency. The lifestyle and fitness of the athlete have been questioned since he was rescinded for a doping violation in 2019.
The right-handed batsman crashed the yo-yo test held in March this year. Out of BCCI’s minimum requirement of 16.5 for men, he scored less than 15.
Before his Test debut in 2018, India earned a magnificent triumph in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand under Shaw’s leadership. He has only featured in four Test matches and has been a guest in ODIs. He last appeared for India in July 2021, when he travelled to Sri Lanka for three ODIs and T20Is with a reserve team.
Gambhir stated his views on Shaw by saying people remember Shaw for his off-field antics, and that’s where the coach and selectors come into the picture.
“I know a lot of people talk about his off-field activities, but that is what the job of the coach and the selectors is,” Gambhir said. “The selectors’ job is not just to pick the 15, but also to get people walk the right path.”
Shaw’s recent performances have come for Mumbai in a domestic T20I competition. He was the second-best scorer at Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In ten innings he amassed 332 runs at a strike rate of 181.42 with a highest score of 134 off 61 balls against Assam.
Of late, in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy (50-over tournament), Shaw is going through a rough time as he managed two half-centuries against the minnows Mizoram and Railways. In total, he only scored 217 runs, averaging just 31 in seven innings.
Shaw was outperformed by his teammate Yashasvi Jaiswal, who also bats at the top of the order for Mumbai. Yashasvi scored 396 runs in six innings. M
Mumbai were eliminated before the quarterfinals.