Prithvi Shaw is one of the few cricketers who have been looked at as the leaders of the next generation of Indian cricket. His rise as a batsman has been well documented ever since he was in his early teenage days, and people like Sachin Tendulkar have attached huge expectations from the 20-year-old athlete already.
So, just imagine Shaw's predicament when he found out that he was being blamed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for taking a prohibited substance, terbutaline, and would face a long ban from playing the game, that defines him, on the charges of doping.
Ever since the news of Shaw's ban broke out, his statement about how he accidentally ingested terbutaline while consuming cough syrups came out almost simultaneously. Nonetheless, the verdict was out and Shaw had to move away from the game.View this post on Instagram
A post shared by PRITHVI SHAW (@prithvishaw) on Jul 30, 2019 at 8:22am PDT
“I had never thought that something like this would happen. I was obviously upset. For the first 20-25 days after I was banned, I was not able to understand how it happened. Time passed by. I went to London and chilled out there as I was not allowed to practice till September 15,” Shaw told Hindustan Times after his comeback game with Team Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy against Assam.
PrithviShaw on India comeback! pic.twitter.com/MafmDmtLyu— CricFit (@CricFit) November 18, 2019
“After that, I stabilised myself and kept myself mentally stronger by telling myself these three months would pass. But each day was hard, it was getting longer. It's all past now," he added.
This is where former Indian wicket-keeper batsman, Rahul Dravid decided to step in and help the youngster get over this difficult stint in the best way possible.
Having become the Head of the prestigious National Cricket Academy (NCA) earlier this year, Dravid invited Shaw to spend the time of his ban making himself better both mentally and physically and stay ready when the gates of the field open for him once again.
“There was nothing in my mind. I couldn't have done anything about the ban. After returning from London, Rahul (Dravid) sir called me to the NCA for training. There I went through a series of fitness tests like a yo-yo. Under Rahul sir, a lot of focus was on fitness. I had to clear all my fitness tests,” Shaw explained.
“What also helped was that during the nets good bowlers were available like Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) and Varun Aaron. Besides, Rahul sir was always there for guidance and mental issues," he said.
Turns out, Dravid's magic worked yet again as Shaw made a thunderous return to the pitch and went on to score 63 runs off 39 balls and helped his side get a win over Assam. It was almost as if he'd never left. Although, his “overconfident gesture” (https://www.mensxp.com/sports/cricket/70297-after-an-8-month-ban-prithvi-shaw-faces-heat-for-his-lsquo-overconfident-gesture-rsquo-in-comeback-game.html) while celebrating his half-century could have been avoided.November 17, 2019
Quietly, working from behind the stage, Dravid works with the players without expecting any recognition or reward in return. Isn't he phenomenal? Also, like in the case of Shaw, where all the efforts came into fruition, there couldn't be a bigger reward for a guru, that Dravid has evolved into.