Can Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan Make India Squad? Ex-India Opener's Clear Advice
The former Indian cricket team opener had a clear advice for Sarfaraz Khan and Prithvi Shaw following disappointing IPL 2023 performances.
Indian players need to back their domestic performance with a solid show in the IPL to get picked for the national team, said Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer. Many Indian players, including Prithvi Shaw and Sarfaraz Khan, have failed to fire in this IPL and Jaffer feels it is all about handling pressure. "Prithvi has done well, this is the only season where he hasn't met expectation but he has been a prolific scorer for Delhi along with Warner. But this can happen. In this format, we have seen far bigger players haven't done well. Hopefully, he will bounce back stronger," Jaffer said.
"Sarfaraz also had three prolific domestic seasons. To score 1000 runs for almost three seasons is unthinkable but he hasn't backed that up with IPL performance.
"Now if you want to come to the Indian side, he's got to back up the domestic performance with IPL. But unfortunately, he hasn't done that." While Shaw has amassed 3,679 runs at an average of 51.09, with 12 hundred and 15 fifties in 42 first class matches, Sarfaraz has scored 3,505 runs at 79.65, with 13 hundred and nine fifties in 37 games.
However, the duo couldn't grab the opportunities that it got in this IPL.
"I won't say there is massive gap in standard in bowling in domestic cricket and IPL but I would say it is about pressure of IPL. It is different," Jaffer said during the pre-match press conference.
"When you play Syed Mushtaq Ali, you are representing your state, you are comparatively relaxed but in IPL when you are not performing in 2-3 games, there are players waiting and there is pressure of price tag and performance. It is about the ability to handle pressure.
"Any franchise which has done well in IPL, you will see the Indian players have done well. Jitesh Sharma has done well, Prabhsimran (Singh) has done well (for Punjab Kings), the India players have to step up and the foreign players also have to fire at the same time." Punjab Kings, with 10 points from 11 games, are looking at a must-win game against Delhi Capitals on Saturday.
"To pick an off-spinner is a risky thing"
Following their loss in the last match, PBKS skipper Shikhar Dhawan had highlighted the lack of an off-spinner in his team.
"One option is Liam Livingstone but obviously he is not known for his bowling. Shahrukh Khan bowled in TNPL and for Tamil Nadu but Shikhar hasn't seen that so he is reluctant to give him a go," Jaffer said.
"If you look in IPL, there are 2-3 off-spinners like R Ashwin, K Gautam, Washington Sundar and maybe Mooen Ali, who also don't bowl in every game, so to pick a offspinner is a risky thing.
"Even the greatest of captain, MS Dhoni doesn't bowl an offspinner. So it is a tough call to fit an offspinner."
Prithvi Shaw is a puzzle for coaches too: Amre
Shaw managed just 47 runs in six IPL games to be eventually dropped from the XI and Delhi Capitals assistant coach Pravin Amre admitted it is a puzzle because the young batter had come into IPL ticking all boxes.
"It is a puzzle for the coaches as well. Sometimes you feel that a player is coming out of form. Especially, Prithivi was one of the highest runscorer in T20 format in Indian cricket in Syed Mushtaq Ali.
"He also scored triple hundred, so fitness issue was also not there. He came here ticking all boxes. We saw he got a fifty in first practice game. But that is the beauty of the game. Anything can happen. Even a big player can't deliver at times.
"They have to prepare themselves much better. This tournament is not just a domestic event, the standard of this tournament is international and they have to come with that preparation.
"They are young and have potential but to deliver here they will need that extra preparation." Delhi lost the most number of wickets (27) inside the powerplay in IPL and Amre admitted it has been an area of concern for the team.
"We have lost a wicket in the first over in six matches this season. This has been a concern for us. And we are focussing on improving in that area. We have done well in the powerplay overs in a few games and we'll look to replicate those performances."