Having made fitness a priority, Prithvi Shaw is back to work after suffering a poor performance in a fitness test ahead of the IPL and then suffering from typhoid during the tournament.

Playing in only his fourth competitive match since IPL 2022, Shaw scored 113 runs in 121 balls for West Zone against North-East Zone in the season-opening Duleep Trophy at Chepauk. Shaw’s opening stand of 206 with Yashasvi Jaiswal laid the foundation for West Zone’s first innings total of 590 for 2, which included double centuries from Jaiswal and Ajinkya Rahane.

“This (hundred) is special because it has come after a long time,” Shaw said. “After training, and giving myself time, I am back on track, which feels great. In the capitals, I was training at BKC (Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai). Earlier, we trained in Delhi And then came back and trained in Mumbai. Off-season. Just 12 days before Duleep Trophy, I started batting with the red ball (cricket) to get back on track. Otherwise, I was just working on my fitness.

“Getting back on track doesn’t mean I was going somewhere wrong. When you figure it out So you feel back on track. And when you’re scoring runs, it shows you’ve done something right – be it in training or on the field. It wasn’t just about training hard. But yes, I lost a lot of weight. In IPL, I lost seven-eight kilos and I am [back] there. So, it feels good to be lighter.”

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Shaw admitted that “things could have been different” if he was fit during the IPL and fired for the Capitals. However, he has now embraced setbacks and is all set to get back in contention.

Shaw said in IPL, I got typhoid

“In IPL, I got typhoid,” said Shaw. “It was the moment when I could play more matches and score runs for my team. Things could have been different. I retrained Look, the Graph of a Cricketer’s Life can’t always go up. It will go up and down; Now is the time and this is the year that has been very tough for me. But I am someone who takes it as a challenge and from that comes out. “

Shaw last played for India in July 2021, when he was part of the second-string team touring Sri Lanka. He has since fallen so low in the pecking order that he is not even a part of India A which is currently playing against New Zealand A in the three-match unofficial Test series in Karnataka. Does Shaw see this domestic season as a make-or-break for himself?

“I think every match from here on out is really important for me,” he said. I’m someone who is a team man, but I feel that every match is important to me – whatever opportunity comes my way, I’ll try and get it… I’m just there I will go, train, work hard and score runs. Rest, I will let the selectors and everyone else make their decisions. I’ll just do my job.”

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Shaw’s Duleep Trophy century came with a caveat

Shaw’s Duleep Trophy century came with a caveat – it was against a North-East side playing the Duleep Trophy for the first time. The North-East Zone then showed a big fight with the bat on the third day, forcing the West Zone bowlers to dig deeper. Thapa scored 43 runs in 103 balls, while number 8 Ankur Malik scored 81 runs in 95 balls, which included several sweeps.

“To be honest, if they (Northeast region) are playing at this level, they have done something right,” Shaw said. “Whatever the player, the game is a game. You can judge a bowler or a batsman by their ability. They have potential because that is why they are playing here, To be honest, they were bowling well. He bowled well in the first 20-25 overs. I think we were confident about our stroke against him, which helped.

“The Yashasvi and Ajju (Rahane) brothers are getting those doubles; I could have played a little longer. It’s not about the bowling attack being weak or strong, but if you’re not focused enough then you have to. It will happen. Only one ball is needed to get out.