Team always backed me under pressure, says Prithvi Shaw

Shaw, the India U19 skipper, also reveals that coach Rahul Dravid’s experience in New Zealand from his playing days helped the unit focus on specifics.

India U19 skipper Prithvi Shaw, who is slowly getting used to taking selfies with his fans, didn't expect such a turnout in New Zealand.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India U19 skipper Prithvi Shaw is slowly getting used to taking selfies with his fans. The youngster thanked the Indian fans for turning up at the stadium, as against his expectations, at the World Cup final where India U19 beat Australia U19 by eight wickets.

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“It’s a proud feeling for me. It feels really good, you know. The spectators have come a long way to support us. They really supported us till the last run. There’s been so much of love in New Zealand. We didn’t expect this, they helped us stay pumped up,” he said, after laying his hands on the ICC trophy.

 

The target set by Australia, 217, wasn’t a big total but Shaw didn’t want his boys to be casual on their approach. He had a huddle with the team after the Australian innings. “It is a big match, it is a World Cup final; to see if everything was right, I told them to be calm, patient and build partnerships. These little things helped us till here,” he revealed.

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The team broke into a peculiar computer-game like celebration at the end. Shaw explained, “When we play Playstation in our room and we play FIFA 18, that is one of the celebrations we see. We had decided when we were close to the target that Shubman Gill and I would do that thing, and everyone else would fall. It’s like power coming.”

Shaw also disclosed how Rahul Dravid has been phenomenal at his job. “Rahul sir has come here a lot, and he shared his experience about the conditions. Paras (Mhambrey) sir also explained about the bowlers, Abhay (Sharma) sir about the fielding. It’s been great team work,” he added.

But Shaw doesn’t consider this as an emotional journey. “This has been a fun journey. We have spent nearly two years preparing for this World Cup. There will be emotions when we say goodbye, but it’s a sort of memory that even if some of us won’t go on to lift the senior World Cup, we have this to remember. The boys have backed me very well throughout this tournament. Even when I’ve felt under pressure, I felt the team was with me, and that’s a good feeling,” said Shaw.

From the coach

Prithvi Shaw’s first coach Santosh Pingulkar recalled the talent he had spotted when the India U19 skipper was three. “Prithvi Shaw came to me when he was around three years old. It was pure co-incidence when I first spotted him playing at a municipal corporation ground. I had come to Virar from Aurangabad to take permission for the local ground when I saw him play there,” Pingulkar told PTI.

“No one was taking him in Mumbai, saying he was very young. We enrolled him in our Golden Star Academy. He was our first student. He was at the National School till second or third standard and then was shifted to Rizvi school (in Mumbai), but he stayed in Virar for 12 years,” recalled Pingulkar, who still coaches budding cricketers.