Mohammad Kaif, a former Indian batsman, has told how new phenomenon Prithvi Shaw was determined to improve his game when things were not going his way on the 22-yard line. During the 2019-2021 season, Kaif was a part of the Delhi Capitals team as an assistant coach. During his time with the team, he also had the opportunity to examine and improve Shaw’s hitting technique.
He went on to explain that the young opener had advised him to bowl underarm before an IPL match when he was not scoring runs, which turned out to be Prithvi Shaw’s routine before the contest as well. Shaw did have some difficulties in the 2019 and 2020 seasons, but the 2021 campaign turned out to be his most productive at the plate.
Shaw was not getting any runs, wanted to get a hitting rhythm by playing underarm, says Mohammad Kaif
“It was a pleasure to spend so much time with Prithvi Shaw while being with the Delhi Capitals for three years. He had this pre-match routine in which I used to hold a new ball with the seam facing me and toss it underarm towards him, below his knee, before the match. He would keep throwing it back to me,” Mohammad Kaif stated in an interview with Sportskeeda.
“One day, as I was having tea with a friend, a player walked in and informed me that Shaw was waiting outside for me. I rushed outdoors and inquired as to what had transpired. As a result, he instructed me to “bowl underarm to him,” as he was not getting any runs. He really wanted to restart this ritual,” he said.
“According to his instructions, I had to bowl underarm but with a straight seam, as well as lower than my knees to allow the ball to strike his middle-of-the-bat. In such a fashion, he used to play 10-12 balls at a time. It was his habit to smash the ball back at me, which allowed him to get into a type of hitting rhythm,” the former middle-order batsman said.
Shaw scored 479 runs from 15 matches in the IPL 2021, an average of 31.93, and a strike rate of 159.13, including four half-centuries. As a consequence, the club decided to keep him on for this season. He has been given INR 7.50 crore as compensation. After scoring 38 runs in DC’s IPL 2022 opener against the Mumbai Indians, the team went on to win the match by four wickets.