Prithvi Shaw has achieved the second-highest Ranji Trophy score in history. The opener opened the second day of Mumbai’s Group B encounter against Assam in ominous fashion, hitting 139 runs off 99 balls before being dismissed for 379 off 383. The 23-year-old dashing opener went on to achieve his maiden triple century in first-class cricket after commencing on his overnight score of 240.
“I don’t really care about people who aren’t with me when I’m not performing well,” Shaw told in a recent interview after the second day of play. “I choose to ignore them. That is the best course of action.
“You know you’re doing everything correctly. You know you’re following the proper procedures, you’re honest with yourself, and you’re dedicated to your job both on and off the field. However, people do speak in a variety of ways. People who don’t even know who you are pass judgement on you.”
Bhausaheb Nimbalkar, unbroken 443 for Maharashtra against Kathiawar in December 1948 is the greatest Ranji Trophy score and the best first-class score by an Indian batter. Shaw, on the other hand, has risen to second place on both rankings. Shaw passed Swapnil Gugale (351*), Cheteshwar Pujara (352), V.V.S. Laxman (353), Samit Gohel (359*), Vijay Merchant (359*), MV Sridhar (366) and Sanjay Manjrekar (377) to become the ninth player to reach 350 in a Ranji innings.
Shaw dominated all three partnerships he was a part of, hitting 75 off a 123-run first-wicket stand with Musheer Khan, 42 off a 74-run second-wicket stand with Armaan Jaffer, and 262 off a 401-run third-wicket stand with Mumbai captain Ajinkya Rahane. But, just when he appeared to be on his way to 400 and beyond, he was lbw to leg-spinner Riyan Parag in what turned out to be the final over before lunch.
Apart from Rohit Sharma and Virender Sehwag, Shaw is the only Indian to have made a century in T20s, a double hundred in List A cricket, and a 300 in first-class cricket. The 23-year-old raced to his maiden triple century in domestic cricket in 326 balls and then went on to smash a slew of other records. The Mumbaikar, who had scored 13, 6, 19, 4, 68, 35, and 15 in the first four Ranji Trophy matches of the 2022-23 season, returned to form in spectacular fashion.
The century halted a stretch of poor form for Shaw, who had only one fifty in his first seven Ranji innings and might put him back in contention for an India position. Shaw, who has played five Tests, six ODIs, and one T20I for India, last appeared in a limited-overs match in Sri Lanka in July 2021.
Shaw discussed the difficulties of managing expectations and dealing with criticism in recent interview. “I’ve realized that anytime you score runs, you feel like you’re on top of the world,” he remarked. “People will come after you if you don’t score. When you score frequently, there are a lot of expectations, but when you suddenly get out early in three or four innings, people start thinking ‘yaar, yeh hai woh hai [people start doubting you].’
“Only you know if you are following the method, if you are being more disciplined than before, if you are sleeping on time and eating well before a game. All of these things are important. I’m simply trying to keep up with those things and spend as much time alone as possible. I block off any outside noise, whether on social media or other platforms.”
“I try to avoid those things or at times, just ask my manager to handle social-media activity. I have brand responsibilities, so it’s impossible for me to avoid social media, and as a result, you wind up seeing what’s being published or spoken about. But I’m still trying to block out as much noise as possible. People are talking about you and will continue to do so even after ten years, so you should not worry too much about it, since reading too much between the lines will impact you.”