Ricky Ponting the mentor’s role in the IPL

Saurabh Gandle Roar Guru

By Saurabh Gandle, Saurabh Gandle is a Roar Guru

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    Prithvi Shaw, the rising star of the India and Delhi Daredevil star player, credited Ricky Ponting for all his success this IPL season.

    Despite finishing at the bottom of the table, the Delhi Daredevils showed flashes of brilliance thanks to their young players, such as Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Sandeep Lamichhane and under-19s winning captain Indian star Shaw.

    In admitting the differences in the standard of cricket played in under-19s compared to the IPL, Prithvi highlighted how difficult it is to play in front of 40,000-odd crowds, face all the cameras, deal with the pressure of top-class bowlers like Mitchell Johnson and watch superstars like AB de Villiers and Chris Gayle bat.

    Shaw admired the advice from Ricky Ponting, who told him to enjoy the game, which eased all his nerves when he debuted for the Daredevils. In the final match, when he was run out in from a direct hit by Hardik Pandya, Ricky calmed and supported Prithvi by telling him to take this as a one-off incident as he was trolled in social media and hit out at by commentators.

    In the IPL Shaw scored 245 runs in nine matches at an average of 27.20, but what is more important was his strike rate of 153 as he was deemed not to be fit for shorter format given his poor return in list-A cricket, where he averaged a paltry 22.

    Prithvi highlighted how having the coach of high calibre, advice and backing – especially someone like Ponting, with all the experience of soaking up pressure, motivating players and reaching the pinnacle of the cricketing world – helped him remove the self-doubt and gain maturity this season.

    Prithvi is no strange to media glare, as Mark Waugh compared his batting style to that of little master Sachin Tendulkar. This season, Shaw led the India under-19s to World Cup victory over Australia, thereby going the tournament undefeated. Before the World Cup he scored four tons in first-class cricket in the 2017-18 seasons.

    With the tour of England coming up, a couple of good scores will make his transition to the senior cricket team seamless, just like the current Indian superstar Virat Kohli made his debut for India after doing well in Australia during an India-A tour.

    Prithvi Shaw is one step away from realising his dream of playing for India, and with the level head he’s got, without an iota of doubt he will play for India – and en route to playing international cricket he will remember the backing of cricketing great Ricky Ponting.

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