Rahul Dravid was known as a proficient technician during his playing days, but that does not mean that he imposes his beliefs on his wards. The India-A coach believes in letting a player do what works best for him.
This was the case with Mumbai batsman Prithvi Shaw, who has had a problem getting his back-leg in line with the ball at the time of contact. This shortcoming was exposed by Karnataka seamer Vinay Kumar in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal last year, where he took out Shaw en route to a hat-trick.
Shaw, who has played under Dravid in both the India under-19 and India-A teams, explained,
“In the practice sessions, I tried to get my back-foot back and across, but it didn’t work for me.
“So Rahul sir said that it was not necessary for me to make the change. I know that it’s a mistake to not get my back-leg in line with the ball, but since I’m scoring good runs, Rahul sir asked me to stick to what I’m comfortable with.”
Shaw, who made a fine 136 for India-A against South Africa-A here on Sunday, added, “Rahul sir talks to me about the mentality you need to score big, and to score consistently. I try to follow his advice.”
Last month, seasoned international stars Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay were included in the India-A team which took on England Lions in an unofficial Test. It gave the young Shaw the chance to learn from his seniors.
“Having Vijay and Rahane was great. I watched how they bat in the nets, how they plan their knocks, and how they focus on the ball. I talked to them about various aspects of cricket and learnt a lot from them,” Shaw said.
On Mayank Agarwal’s brilliant unbeaten 220, Shaw said, “It’s one of the best innings I’ve seen him play. I want him to carry on and score even more tomorrow (Monday).”