Young Turks: Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw were not picked up for the World Cup squad. Later Rishabh was included as reserve batsman for the world cup. Though Rishabh is an aggressive batsman with a wide range of strokes, he could not maintain his tempo after hitting a scintillating 78 off 28 balls against Mumbai Indians. Rishabh failed to control his temptation to swing his bat at anything dropped outside the leg stump. He paid a heavy price for his lustychabuk shots to the square leg region. The other upcoming cricketer, Prithvi Shaw looked poised and meticulous in his footwork and shot selection. He finds the gap among fielders with amazing accuracy. But, he missed the bus because he wanted to dominate bowlers from the very beginning. “I always want to dominate the bowling,” said Prithvi Shaw. Perhaps this is the biggest mistake an upcoming batsman commits at the beginning of his career.
Cricket is a gentle man’s game which teaches mutual respect. A good batsman has to necessarily respect a good delivery bowled by any bowler. The attitude to dominate bowler is not in cricket culture.
Prithvi smashed 99 off 55 balls against Kolkata Knight Riders. He has shown his class and steely resolve. But he has lost the plot afterward as he was in a hurry to commit silly mistakes to get himself out cheaply.
Both Rishabh and Prithvi should have taken a leaf from Dhoni’s batting, the way he plays in his V area for ten to 15 balls before he unleashes his ruthless assault on bowlers. A batsman however great he may be, he has to learn the survival skill on difficult wicket. It is sad to notice the exclusion of Deepak Chahar who bowled maximum number of dot balls and took 11 wickets in nine matches. The selectors should have taken Deepak Chahar in place of Vijay Shankar. Deepak is a strike bowler who could have sharpened the bowling attack. In World Cup one needs wickets and breakthrough which can be done by a strike bowler. An all-rounder should be a strike bowler in limited over matches where batting skill of an all-rounder does not make any sense. If an all-rounder can make 20 to 30 runs in slug overs this could be a good contribution.
Leg spinners Rahul Chahar and Shreyas Gopal are promising guys who have given enough trouble to batsmen in IPL matches. Gopal could have been tried in place of Kuldeep Yadav since he maintains very good form in the IPL matches. All leading teams in the world cup will include a leg spin googly bowler. In fact, a good leg spinner can bring a turnaround in view of the deteriorating footwork skill among batsmen world over. Look how Rashid Khan foxes the batsmen in the IPL matches with his sharp googlies. The World Cup 2019 will witness the clash of Titans: India, England, Australia and West Indies.