‘Coach’s job is not to give throwdowns only. Rahul Dravid…’: Gambhir wants management, selectors to monitor Prithvi Shaw

Prithvi Shaw’s non-selection in the T20I squad has been one of the biggest mysteries in the last few months in Indian cricket. The Mumbai opener, despite being in great touch at the shortest format of the game, has not been selected in any format for India since July 2021. Shaw was in terrific form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20s returning as the tournament’s second-highest run-getter with 336 runs at a super strike rate of 181.42.

Ever since his suspension for a doping violation in 2019, his discipline has always been under the scanner. Former India cricketer Gautam Gambhir said it is the duty of the selectors and the coaching staff to keep the focus of a player of Shaw’s quality.

“What are coaches there for? What are selectors there for?” Gambhir asked. “Not to just select the squad or probably to do those throw-downs or make them ready for the game. Ultimately it’s the selectors and coaches and management who should try and help these guys. Someone like Prithvi Shaw, we all know the kind of talent he has. Probably they should get him on the right track and that is what one of the jobs of management is,” Gambhir said on Star Sports.

Gambhir urged head coach Rahul Dravid, who has worked with him at the U19 level to talk to the youngster and monitor him properly.

“I feel that if that’s the case [fitness and lifestyle issues], someone – whether it’s Rahul Dravid or the chairman of selectors – should actually have a word with him, give him clarity and keep him around the group. People who should be on the right path should be around the group, so that they are monitored better. Because the moment you leave them apart, they can go all over the place.

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“Someone like a Prithvi Shaw, the kind of start he had to his international career and the kind of talent he has, you back a player on talent. Yes, you have to look at the upbringing as well – where he comes from and the challenges he’s had as well. It makes even more sense for the management and the selectors to keep him around the mix, and help him get on the right track,” Gambhir added.

The former KKR and Delhi Capitals captain Shaw also needs to show some maturity and hunger to play for the country.

“If you’re dedicated and passionate enough to play for the country, you’ve got to be able to get all the parameters right, whether it’s the fitness or discipline as well. It’s got to be both ways. You’ve got to give a young boy at least one chance or a couple of chances, and if he still doesn’t do that, then he’s not passionate enough to play for the country and probably you can look beyond him.

“But if he’s willing to put in the hard yards – and I know how destructive he can be; if he can go on to win games for you, whether it’s trainers, management, head coach or chairman of selectors, all these guys should take the onus to try and get these young boys walk on the right path,” Gambhir said.

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