Indian batsman Prithvi Shaw, who made a return to competitive cricket with a 39-ball 63 for Mumbai in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy after his ban for consuming a ‘prohibited substance’ ended said that it was hard for him to digest things in the days immediately after his ban.
During the ban, Shaw trained at the NCA under the watchful eyes of Rahul Dravid told Mid-Day, “I never thought something like this would happen. I was obviously upset. For the first 20-25 days after I was banned, I was not able to make any sense of things.
“After that, I stabilised and kept myself mentally strong. Each day was hard. I was desperate to play a game. I was excited about today's game and what better than a victory. I'll keep scoring runs; this is my job.”
Mumbai has since qualified for the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, and things are finally beginning to look up for the 20-year-old who admitted that the ban had been a learning experience for him.
“This period (of suspension) has been a big learning experience for me,” he continued. “Obviously, I committed a mistake. I had no idea what I was consuming. In that period, I was alone and was trying to stay away from people and their advice. I kept telling myself that I can get out of this mess and be mentally strong.
"I got a lot of love and support from a lot of people. There obviously was a period where I was not feeling too well. But then, as the day of my return drew closer, I started to get my act together. If I had gone into my shell at that point of time, I would have felt pressure during the game. I committed a small mistake, now all that is in the past."
Speaking about the time he spent at the NCA during his ban, Shaw said, “A lot of focus was on training under Rahul sir's guidance. I had to clear the yo-yo test. What also helped was that during the practice nets, good bowlers like Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Varun Aaron were available and Rahul sir was always there for guidance and sorting out mental issues."
Shaw had a promising start to his India career in 2018, after he hit a Test century on debut against the West Indies. He scored a half-century in the Test after that, but after being picked for India’s tour of Australia, he picked up an ankle injury which ruled him out of the entire series. A hip injury then prevented his selection for India’s tour of West Indies earlier this year, and he was then banned soon after. He has now firmly set his eyes on a recall to the Indian team.