Among the new crop of cricketers, Prithvi Shaw is widely regarded as one of the most exciting prospects and the ‘next-big-thing’ of Indian cricket. After setting the junior level cricket on fire with his top-level batsmanship, Shaw made a promising start to his international career as he smashed a brilliant hundred on his Test debut against West Indies. But since then, it has been a downward spiral for the 20-year-old cricketer as he suffered an ankle injury and a failed dope test which kept him out of the scheme of things for nearly 16 months. Also Read - Selectors to Take a Call on Hardik Pandya, Prithvi Shaw, Prasidh Krishna For WTC Final - Report
However, Shaw made a successful return to competitive cricket and paved his way to the national side once again. Earlier this year, Shaw made his ODI debut against New Zealand before returning as an opener in Test cricket as well. On many occasions, the Mumbai-born batsman has been compared with the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Be it his strokeplay or batting stance, fans have drawn many similarities between the youngster and the Master Blaster. Also Read - PSL Franchises Ask PCB to Move Remainder of Tournament to UAE
Shaw has admitted that Tendulkar has had a big influence on his batting style. He also revealed that ‘God of Cricket’ has always told the youngster to play his natural game and stay calm off the field too. Now, it was Tendulkar’s turn to spill the beans on his mentorship of the ‘extremely talented’ Shaw. Also Read - IPL 2021 Postponement To Cost BCCI To The Tune Of ₹2000 Crore; Sponsors And Broadcasters Back Board's Decision
Tendulkar has been a role model all his life and it was hardly a surprise when he became a guide to the young Shaw. Apart from helping him to deal with various cricket-related queries, the 47-year-old also helped Shaw during a rough patch.
Some disciplinary issues have also been talked about quite often in Indian cricket circles for some time now. It was at this point that Tendulkar came into the picture and mentored Shaw as he negotiated a very precarious phase of life during which nascent careers can go southbound.
“Yes, it’s true. I have had a number of interactions over the years with Prithvi. He is a very talented player and I am happy to help him. I spoke to him about cricket and also about life beyond the cricket field,” Tendulkar was quoted by PTI during an interaction.
However, Tendulkar was not comfortable when asked what exactly was discussed during his multiple sessions with Shaw.
“I believe if a youngster has approached me and sought guidance, there should be an element of confidentiality attached to it, at least from my side. So, I would not like to tell you what the discussions were,” the iconic batsman said.
But Shaw, of late, has been very vocal about the guidance he got from the senior Mumbaikar. “That’s fine. If Prithvi wants to speak about it, it’s his choice.”
Tendulkar said that he has always been open to guiding youngsters who would seek him out individually. And there are a number of others, with whom he speaks on a one-on-one basis apart from Shaw.
“I have spoken and guided a lot of youngsters at an individual level. I have maintained that if anyone feels that I can be of any help in guiding them about their game, I am always open to the idea,” the maestro said.
Not only Shaw, even India captain Virat Kohli sought Tendulkar’s suggestions as recently as the Pink Ball Test against Bangladesh in November last year.
“I spoke to Sachin paaji on the evening of the first day and he made a very interesting point as well. Probably with the pink ball, you have to treat the second session like the morning session when it’s getting darker and the ball starts to swing and seam.
“So first session you invariably play like you play from lunch to tea in a normal timing Test match, then the second session would be like a morning session and the last session is like that evening session,” Kohli, who became India’s first pink ball centurion, told media persons.