Returning to competitive cricket after serving a doping suspension, young Parthiv Shaw says he is now fully focused on letting his bat do the talk to help him claw back into the Indian team.
“Now I will focus on scoring as many runs as possible and win games for the team,” said Shaw, who played his first game after serving a backdated eight-month suspension by the BCCI for failing a dope test.
Shaw made a stroke-filled 39-ball 63 in his comeback match to assist Mumbai thrash Assam with a margin of 83 runs in a game of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
“I will just keep scoring runs. It is all about the selectors and what they think. My job is to score runs and win games for the team,” the 20-year-old opening batsman said when asked about his return to the national team.
Shaw, who made a perfect Test debut, has so far a century and a fifty to his credit but has to pile up loads of runs to regain his Test spot as Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal grabbed their chances in his absence.
Since failing a dope test during the Mushtaq Ali Trophy in March, Shaw was suspended from all forms of cricket by the BCCI for a (retrospective) eight-month period in July and his suspension ended on Friday.
— BCCI Domestic (@BCCIdomestic) November 17, 2019
Shaw said the episode was definitely “hard and upsetting”, talking about the ban period, but it’s a thing of the past now.
“I had never thought that something like this would happen. I was upset. For the first 20-25 days after I was banned, I was not able to understand how did it happen,” he said.
“Time passed by. I went to London and chilled out there as I was not allowed to practice till September 15. After that, I stabilized myself and kept myself mentally stronger by telling myself these three months would pass. But each day was hard, it was getting longer. It’s all past now.”
Shaw said he was assisted in his comeback by former skipper Rahul David, who is the head of cricket at Banglore’s National Cricket Academy.
“There was nothing in my mind. I couldn’t have done anything about the ban. After returning from London, Rahul (Dravid) sir called me to the NCA for training. There I went through a series of fitness tests like a yo-yo,” he said.
“Under Rahul sir, a lot of focus was on fitness. I had to clear all my fitness tests. What also helped was that during the nets good bowlers were available like Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvi (Bhuvaneshwar Kumar) and Varun Aaron. Besides, Rahul sir was always there for guidance and mental issues.”
He said he was supported by a lot of cricketers and coaches during his hard days apart from his father Pankaj.
“A lot of people were asking me about my well-being. I got a lot of love and support from a lot of people. A lot of players, coaches, my agency people, Indian Oil people, BCCI and MCA guys were asking how was I feeling,” the diminutive batsman said.
“There was a period when I was not feeling too well. But then as the day of return came closer, I started to get my acts together.
“If I had gone into a shell at that point of time (ban) I would have felt the pressure. But whatever happens, it’s for good.”
Shaw said the episode was a big learning experience for him in his nascent career.
“I think this period has been a big learning experience for me. I committed a mistake. I had no idea what I was consuming,” he said.
“In that period I was alone and was trying to stay away from people and their advice. I was telling myself that I can get out of this mess and be mentally strong.”
Shaw said that during the turbulent time his father was always behind him.
“In life ups and downs will be there. My father has stood behind me and nobody else is there. In these three months, he was with me like he has been during the U-14 and U-16 days. He felt that he needed to be with me,” he said.