'He was specific that I had to bowl underarm' - Former DC coach Mohammad Kaif recalls Prithvi Shaw's superstitious ritual

Prithvi Shaw was one of DC's mandatory retentions ahead of IPL 2022.

Prithvi Shaw
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Prithvi Shaw. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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Former India batter Mohammad Kaif has revealed how young sensation Prithvi Shaw was committed to improving his game when things were not working in his favour on the 22 yards. Kaif was associated with the Delhi Capitals as an assistant coach from 2019 to 2021. During his stint, he also got a chance to observe and work on Shaw’s batting.

The cricketer-turned-broadcaster went on to say that the promising opener had urged him to bowl underarm prior to an IPL match when he was not getting runs, which also turned out to be Prithvi Shaw’s ritual. Shaw did struggle to a certain extent in the 2019 and 2020 editions, but the 2021 season turned out to be his best with the bat.

I used to hold a new ball with the seam and throw it underarm towards Prithvi Shaw: Mohammad Kaif

“I was with the Delhi Capitals for three years and got to spend a lot of time with Prithvi Shaw. He had this ritual where, before the match, I used to hold a new ball with the seam and throw it underarm towards him, below his knee. He would keep knocking it back to me,” said Mohammad Kaif while speaking to Sportskeeda.

“One day, when I was having tea, a player came in and told me that Shaw was waiting for me outside. I ran outside and asked him what happened. So he told me, ‘please bowl underarm to me, I am not getting runs. I want to start this ritual again”, he said.

“He was specific that I had to bowl underarm but with a straight seam and also below the knee so that the ball could meet the middle of the bat. He used to play 10-12 balls in that manner. He used to hit the ball back at me and get into a sort of batting rhythm,” the ex-middle-order batter added.

Shaw amassed 479 runs from 15 matches in IPL 2021 at an average of 31.93 and a strike rate of 159.13, including four half-centuries. As a result of that, he was retained by the franchise for this season. He has been offered INR 7.50 crore. The Mumbai cricketer scored 38 in DC’s IPL 2022 opener against Mumbai Indians, which the Capitals went on to win by four wickets.