Moments after tonking his teammates and the net bowlers for a good half an hour at the Emerald International school ground with captain Ajinkya Rahane for company, Prithvi Shaw retrieved in the shades on Wednesday afternoon and had an ice pack wrapped on his left ankle.
It was understandable considering Shaw is set to return to competitive cricket on Thursday, during Mumbai’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy Group C opener versus Sikkim, after almost three months, having been ruled out of the Australia tour following a left ankle injury he picked up in the warm-up game in November.
Never once did Shaw appear in discomfort as he found gaps at will against India pacers like Shardul Thakur and Dhawal Kulkarni. But the young batsman admitted that he was frustrated for a few days after getting injured.
“It was frustrating for some time, especially the two weeks I spent in Australia thereafter. But obviously, I am happy that we won the series. Once I came back from Australia, I have been working hard to regain fitness. Making myself fitter and batting as well, so I am looking forward to tomorrow,” Shaw said on Wednesday.
Shaw admitted that a full-fledged rehab at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru — from walking with a brace to the stage he was up on his feet and resumed batting — took longer than he had initially anticipated. But he, along with the BCCI medical team, was patient to ensure he recovered fully.
“When we saw after the second Test and it was like, the injury was getting worse but after I came back for the rehab, it took time but it was okay,” he said.
“Obviously I didn’t want to rush since we didn’t want to aggravate it. So we took it slowly and had targeted to return for Mushtaq Ali (Trophy). I am glad it’s worked out that way.”
As Shaw continued to recover at NCA, murmurs over his discipline and attitude issues having contributed to his delayed recovery started doing the rounds. But Shaw has been unperturbed, instead, focusing on regaining full fitness and now hoping to let his bat do the talking.
“First game after the injury, I will try and get some runs on the board and contribute for the team,” he said.