It is not very often that an opener who scored only 43 wins the man-of-the-match award in a One-Day International (ODI). Well, such was the impact of his early onslaught on the Sri Lankan bowlers in the series opener in Colombo on Sunday night that the diminutive Prithvi Shaw was adjudged the player of the match ahead of captain Shikhar Dhawan (86 not out) and debutant Ishan Kishan (59).
Chasing 263, Shaw got India off to a flier. His 24-ball knock was studded with nine boundaries. The right-hander's blitzkrieg meant Dhawan did not have to take any risk at the other end. By the time Shaw departed in the sixth over, the Men in Blue had raced away to 58. He had also brought down the required rate from 5.26 at the start of the innings to less than 4.65.
After a disappointing Australian tour where he was dropped from the Indian Test squad after the horror show in the first match at Adelaide, Shaw was in imperious form on the domestic circuit. He amassed 827 runs from eight matches at a stunning average of 165.4 as Mumbai emerged champions in the Vijay Hazare Trophy National One-Day Championship. The Mumbai skipper smashed four hundreds, including a mammoth unbeaten 227 against Puducherry, in the tournament.
Shaw continued his merry run in IPL 2021 before the tournament was halted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The Delhi Capitals opener scored 308 runs from eight matches at an incredible strike rate of 166.48. His exceptional form paved the way for his return to the Indian white-ball squad for the tour of Lanka.
Shaw looks like a man on a mission and a real challenge awaits the Lankan bowlers.