Prithvi Shaw has had a rousing comeback to domestic cricket after serving out his eight-month doping ban. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he slammed three fifties for Mumbai but the team crashed out of the tournament. In the Ranji Trophy, Shaw showed that he had lost none of his class. The right-hander smashed a brilliant 66 in the first innings and aided by contributions from Ajinkya Rahane (79), Shams Mulani (89) and Shardul Thakur (64) helped Mumbai take a 124-run lead in the clash against Baroda at the Reliance Stadium in Vadodara. Mulani continued to have a good game, having taken 6/99 to restrict Baroda to 307 after Kedar Devdhar's brilliant 160.
However, in the second innings, Shaw underlined his masterclass with an amazing double century off just 179 balls to put Mumbai in a position of dominance. The right-hander targeted the Baroda bowlers and smashed 19 fours and seven sixes in his knock. Shaw's dominance was such that he notched up a century off just 84 balls while his next knock came off just 95 balls. Shaw shared a partnership of 190 for the opening wicket with Jay Bista.
Shaw's double ton laid the platform for Suryakumar Yadav, the Mumbai skipper, to smash 102 off 70 balls with 12 fours and five sixes as Baroda were set a target of 534. In response, Baroda were three down with one day to go.
Speaking after the end of the match against Assam during the Syed Mushtaq Ali, Shaw opened up on the tough times and how difficult the period was. "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 did it happen. Time passed by. I went to London and chilled out there as I was not allowed to practice till September 15. 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," Shaw said.
Shaw credited the guidance of former India player and current NCA head Rahul Dravid for ensuring he was in a better frame of mind. "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 yo-yo. Under Rahul sir a lot of focus was on fitness. I had to clear all my fitness tests. What also helped was that during the nets good bowlers were available like Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar) and Varun Aaron. Besides, Rahul sir was always there for guidance and mental issues," Shaw said.
Shaw showed that he had not lost any of his batting prowess. The right-hander was dropped on 32 off the bowling of Riyan Parag but went on to smash a brilliant 63 off 39 balls. After reaching the fifty, Shaw pointed out to his bat and he signalled with his glove that his bat was going to do all the talking. "Now I will focus on scoring as many runs as possible and win games for the team. I will just keep scoring runs. It is all about the selectors and what they think. My job is to score runs and win games for the team," Shaw said.