Cricket News: Prithvi Shaw - not in the team, but talked about as a future captaincy candidate
Former India opener Gautam Gambhir raised a few eyebrows recently when he earmarked Prithvi Shaw as a future captaincy candidate for India
"The reason I've picked Prithvi Shaw, I know a lot of people talk about his off-field activities, but that is what the job of the coach and the selectors are," Gambhir said.
"The selectors' job isn't just to pick the 15, but also to get people walk the right path. Prithvi Shaw can be a very aggressive and successful captain because you see that aggression in how a person plays the sport."
On the surface, Prithvi Shaw is an excellent captaincy option. He's been a leader at the junior levels, including leading India's U-19 cricket team to a World Cup in 2018.
He's also recently captained Mumbai in the domestic circuit, where he's been playing most of his cricket, too, since he's not been in the India scheme of things recently.
But that last point is why Gautam Gambhir's comments made people sit up and take notice. Shaw hasn't been part of the India squads, not even the second-string ones.
And there's a reason why he hasn't been in and around the India squad. It all traces back to his failed dope test in 2019, but things have worsened.
His lifestyle and fitness issues have become a source of scrutiny among many, and he has appeared visibly out of shape in recent times.
Earlier this year, he reportedly failed a yo-yo test by logging a score of 15. The minimum score for men's cricketers, as set by the BCCI, is 16.5.
It doesn't help Prithvi Shaw's case that his performances in the Indian Premier League have been poor – he had a forgettable year in 2022.
However, his domestic form has been decent, given the form he showed in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Although it is worth noting that that, too, has recently taken a bit of a nosedive, and he's been mixed in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
Still, the fact that someone like Gautam Gambhir believes he can be a future leader would mean that even the higher-ups would be keeping tabs on Prithvi Shaw.
There's just one problem with recalling him right now, at this very moment – there are too many batters ahead of him in the pecking order.
Besides the likes of incumbents Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, there's also Shubman Gill and Shikhar Dhawan in contention for an opening spot in ODIs.
Even Ruturaj Gaikwad – who just hit seven sixes in an over during the VHT – will be higher in the pecking order than Shaw.
And letting the Mumbai batsman jump the gun based on his current form makes no sense, no matter the talent he may have.
The solution for Prithvi Shaw is simple – keep plugging away in the domestic circuit, do well in the IPL and get fitter. Only then can he hope for even a recall – never mind being made India captain one day.