After Prithvi Shaw’s twin failures in the pink-ball Test against Australia in Adelaide, former Aussie all-rounder Tom Moody backed the 21-year-old India opener while slamming the selectors and team management for picking him ahead of Shubman Gill.
Prithvi Shaw registered scores of 0 and 4 in the two innings of the day-night Test. The Mumbai lad drew a lot of flak from pundits for his identical dismissals. The batsman failed to get the foot to the pitch of the ball and was bowled through a big gap between his bat and pad.
In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Moody opined that the Indian selectors made a mistake by picking Prithvi Shaw as he was out of form, in addition to his technical woes.
“Prithvi Shaw is not the one that has failed here, the selectors have failed. He shouldn’t have gotten picked to begin with knowing that he’s coming into this Test series out of form and also with the technical flaws that have been exposed over a dozen balls. So to me, he was set to fail in a way,” Moody exclaimed.
Prithvi Shaw managed 98 runs in four outings during the away Test series to New Zealand earlier this year. His lean patch continued throughout IPL 2020, in which he amassed 228 runs at a measly average of 17.53 from 13 games for the Delhi Capitals.
Tom Moody, who was recently reappointed mentor of the SunRisers Hyderabad, clarified that Prithvi Shaw can realise the bright future ahead of him by making minor changes to his technique.
“For me, Shubman Gill should have been the person to play to begin with. His technique is a lot more watertight and he’s shown that he’s got a wonderful temperament. I’m not saying that Prithvi Shaw is not going to make a good Test cricketer. He’s got a huge future in front him. But at the moment it’s not so much his fault. I think the decision to play him was wrong,” Moody reasoned.
‘The selectors don’t have any other choice but to back Prithvi Shaw for Melbourne,’ says Moody
Even before India were handed a crushing defeat in the first Test, talks of Prithvi Shaw being dropped from the XI began doing rounds. There were discussions about his India Under-19 teammate, Shubman Gill replacing him at the top of the order. There were also talks of slotting Gill in the middle order, with KL Rahul being made to open with Mayank Agarwal.
Tom Moody, however, expressed his support for Prithvi Shaw and added that it will be unfair to oust him based on recent performances – especially with Rohit Sharma primed to nail down one opener’s slot from the third Test.
“I don’t think the selectors have any other choice but to back him for Melbourne regardless of whether you think it’s going to be more a tame wicket or whatever the case may be.
"But you cannot go and pick someone with conviction and suddenly on the back of two knocks, do a backflip and then withdraw him, given what the circumstances heading into the third and fourth Tests, by then Rohit Sharma is likely to return,” Moody concluded.
Virat Kohli will now head back to India to attend the birth of his first child. India – under the leadership of Ajinkya Rahane – would want to finish on the winning side in the day Tests in Melbourne (Dec 26-30), Sydney (Jan 7-11) and Brisbane (Jan 15-19).
Published 19 Dec 2020, 15:55 IST