Prithvi Shaw set to make Ranji return after lengthy injury layoff

India
India batter Prithvi Shaw is set to return to competitive cricket after a six-month injury layoff after being included in Mumbai’s squad for the fifth round of the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy beginning on Friday against Bengal at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Shaw is returning from an knee injury that he picked up during a county stint with Northamptonshire in August. He subsequently underwent surgery in London, followed by three months of rehabilitation. Late last week, he was cleared by the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru following a fitness test.

Shaw had been on track to return a lot earlier, but the NCA’s medical panel headed by Nitin Patel wanted him to withstand higher skill-based workloads and high-intensity mobility drills for a three-week period before giving him a clearance.

Shaw, 24, last featured for India during the tour of Sri Lanka in July 2021, and was last part of the squad for the home T20Is against New Zealand last year.

Shaw has had mixed returns over the past year and a half. Although he made 595 runs in ten innings in the previous Ranji Trophy season, including an incredible 379 off 383 balls against Assam – the second-highest tournament score of all time – he was troubled by consistency issues that extended well into the IPL.

He lost his place in the Delhi Capitals XI midway through the season, having managed just 106 runs in eight innings. Reflecting on that stint during the season-opening Duleep Trophy in June 2023, Shaw had admitted having been bogged down after a string of low scores.

“Those few innings [at the start of IPL 2023] went in a flash,” he had said. “[While] I kept thinking about the first match, I quickly realised three matches had passed. The learning was once the match is done, just leave it there. You can’t do anything about it, it’s history. You have to keep moving forward.”

The timing of Shaw’s injury was when his stocks were on the rise. At the time of his injury, he was the highest run-getter in England’s domestic one-day competition, having hit 429 runs in four innings including a record-breaking 244 off 153 balls against Somerset.

Mumbai, the 41-time Ranji champions, are currently toppers of Group B, with three wins in four matches, and are primed to make the knockout stages.

Mumbai squad: Ajinkya Rahane (captain), Shivam Dube, Prithvi Shaw, Jay Bista, Bhupen Lalwani, Amogh Bhatkal. Suved Parkar, Prasad Pawar (WK), Hardik Tamore (WK), Suryansh Shedge, Tanush Kotian, Atharva Ankolekar, Aditya Dhumal, Mohit Awasthi, Dhaval Kulkarni, Roystan Dias and Sylvester Dsouza.

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