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IND v AUS 2020: Michael Hussey backs out-of-form Prithvi Shaw to play Boxing Day Test

Prithvi Shaw
Prithvi Shaw
ANALYST
Modified 22 Dec 2020, 14:37 IST
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Former Australian batsman Michael Hussey believes Indian opener Prithvi Shaw must be given another chance in the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne. The 21-year-old looked in terrible touch in the first Test at the Adelaide Oval, scoring 0 and 4.

While many feel Shaw should be replaced by either Shubman Gill or KL Rahul at the top of the order, Michael Hussey wants the Indian team management to be patient with the youngster.

In the five Tests that Shaw has represented India so far, he has managed to score a hundred and two fifties, one of which came in testing conditions in New Zealand.

Michael Hussey thinks it would be unfair to drop him on the basis of just one Test performance.

Hussey gave the example of the Australian team management and how they backed Joe Burns, who also failed with the bat for a long time. Burns repaid the faith shown in him and bagged an important half-century in the second innings in Adelaide.

“I think that selectors should show some faith in Prithvi Shaw. Yes, he didn’t get any runs in this Test match but it’s one Test, against some quality bowling of a difficult pitch to bat,” Michael Hussey told ESPNCricinfo.
“Joe Burns was averaging less than 7 in FC cricket. The selectors showed faith in him. He got out cheaply in the first innings but he slowly got his confidence back, worked his way through it and you see the character of the guy and he ended up scoring 50 not out,” he further added.

The Melbourne pitch will suit Prithvi Shaw a lot more: Michael Hussey

MCG pitch has traditionally been good for batting
MCG pitch has traditionally been good for batting

Michael Hussey reckons the pitch at the Adelaide Oval was not an easy one for the batsmen. However, that won't be the case at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). He thinks the MCG pitch will suit Shaw's attacking style of play.

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The youngster might be able to play his shots freely, which would help the Men in Blue get off to a good start. Thus, Michael Hussey wants to see Shaw open the batting for India in the second Test, despite all the criticism surrounding his selection.

“For Prithvi Shaw, find out about his character. Show that faith in him, give him that belief and tell him ‘look, we’re backing you’. The Melbourne pitch will suit him a lot more. It certainly won’t have the same pace and bounce. He’s obviously got enormous talent,” Michael Hussey asserted.
“I firmly believe that selectors should stick with Shaw despite not looking in great touch in the Test match,” Michael Hussey further added.

The second Test between India and Australia will be played from December 26 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Indian skipper Virat Kohli will not be playing any further part in the Test series, as he will be heading back to India to attend the birth of his first child.

The Men in Blue will also be without the services of Mohammed Shami for the rest of the series, as he suffered a wrist fracture while facing a short ball from Pat Cummins.

With India already 1-0 down and missing some key players, the side will need to find suitable alternatives quickly in order to make a comeback in the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Published 22 Dec 2020, 14:37 IST
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