Prithvi Shaw's sizzling 82-run knock (41 balls) that led the Delhi Capitals (DC) to a seven-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) has left former Indian great Virender Sehwag in awe of the diminutive opener.
Chasing the 155-run target set by KKR on a placid pitch at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in Delhi, Prithvi Shaw came out all guns blazing and bludgeoned fast bowler Shivam Mavi for six consecutive boundaries off the very first over of the innings.
The 21-year-old's blazing knock made quite an impression on Sehwag, who spoke about his own unsuccessful attempts at hitting all six deliveries of an over for boundaries to highlight how special Shaw's feat was. Speaking on Cricbuzz, Virender Sehwag said:
“Smashing six boundaries off all six balls means playing every ball through the perfect gap, which is not easy. I’ve opened in my career and have thought of smashing all six balls so many times. But I got a maximum of 18 or 20 odd runs. I couldn’t hit six boundaries or six sixes. For that you need to be perfect on your timing so that you can find those gaps."
Hats off to Prithvi Shaw for his fantastic innings: Virender Sehwag
Prithvi Shaw had captained Mavi during India under-19's victorious World Cup campaign back in 2018, and he admitted during the presentation ceremony that his familiarity with the pacer's bowling helped him anticipate his line and length.
Doffing his hat to Shaw's genius, Sehwag said that he hadn't been able to mete out the same treatment to his teammate Ashish Nehra even after facing off with the left-arm paceman numerous times in the nets during his career.
“Prithvi Shaw was excellent with the bat. He didn’t look as if he had come to play a cricket match. Or maybe he had the confidence of playing with Shivam Mavi in the U-19 team that he knew where the bowler would bowl exactly."
"I have batted against Ashish Nehra so many times in nets, domestic games but would never be able to hit him for six boundaries in an over. Hats off to Prithvi Shaw for his fantastic innings."
Over the course of his spectacular innings, Prithvi Shaw also became the fastest half-centurion in IPL 2021, taking just 18 balls to bring up the milestone.
With DC at 132/1 in 14 overs, it looked like Shaw could even get to a well deserved century. For that to happen, Shaw needed to score 18 off the required 23 runs.
But a couple of lusty blows from captain Rishabh Pant and Shaw's own dismissal in the 16th over that he missed out on a ton.
Virender Sehwag opined that having gone through tough times in last year's IPL as well as in international cricket for India recently, Prithvi Shaw should have taken the opportunity to score a hundred and finish off the run chase.
“It would have been more exciting if he had got a hundred. He has gone through tough times already. But now, when the runs were coming, he must have scored a hundred or remained unbeaten and finished the chase."
Prithvi Shaw is now third in the list of Orange Cap contenders with 269 runs from 7 matches. His next opportunity to climb the batting charts will come when DC take on PBKS at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium on May 2nd.