Prithvi Shaw’s dismissal in the first ODI could be attributed to an unexpected break after he was hit on the helmet by a Dushmantha Chameera delivery. The halt perhaps disrupted his rhythm as he skied the ball to Avishka Fernando soon after.
But the damage was done. Shaw’s masterclass had given India the advantage and Ishan Kishan showed no sign of the debutant blues as he recorded a fifty to punish Sri Lanka further. In the end, it was a seven-wicket win for which Shaw set the tone.
The 24-ball-43 was studded with nine crisp hits to the fence and a strike rate of 179.6, signaling that Shaw wanted to get his point across – to be India’s opener in the shorter format in the long run.
Has Prithvi Shaw made a case for himself as India’s ODI opener for the future?
While an argument can be made if it’s too early to make that call, there’s enough to back the theory.
Prithvi Shaw comes off a rich IPL 2021. He notched up 308 runs from eight matches at an average of 38.50. Three fifties with a high score of 82 were early signs of Shaw getting back into the groove.
The rich vein of form continued with his scintillating knock in the first ODI. Meanwhile, we can assume he will be the opener alongside Shikhar Dhawan for the remainder of the series.
That said, what this does is put Shaw in competition directly with Dhawan, Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal for the second opener slot. Keeping in mind that Gill and Agarwal will push for the slot over the course of the year with their IPL stints, Shaw’s knock puts him ahead of the duo for now.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if he is slotted in as the backup opener once Rohit Sharma returns to the ODI fold. With Virat Kohli expressing his intent to open the innings in the T20 format, the task becomes difficult for Prithvi Shaw, but performances like these that showcase his caliber and finesse put him in a good position.
Prithvi Shaw is no doubt a player with solid technique and has the head to play a mature-yet-mind-boggling innings, only time will tell if he can cement his position as one of India’s regular opener in the limited-overs format.
Both sides will meet again on Tuesday (July 20) at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo for the second ODI, where India will look to close out the series.