Ponting, who rates Shaw highly and believes he can be a “superstar player”, questioned the batsman’s unwillingness to work hard at his game in the nets while going through a lean patch. Shaw averaged just 17.53 from 13 matches in the 2020 IPL, and his approach in the nets, despite the below-average returns, seems to have baffled Ponting.
The youngster’s repeated refusal to work on his game in the nets with Ponting was perplexing for the Aussie.
“I have tried (taking Shaw under my wing) the last two years and I have really enjoyed working with him,” Ponting told cricket.com.au. “I have had some really interesting chats with him through last year’s IPL, just trying to break him down, trying to find out exactly what was the right way to coach him and how I was going to get the best out of him.
“But he had an interesting theory on his batting last year – when he is not scoring runs, he won’t bat, and when he is scoring runs, he wants to keep batting all the time.
“He had four or five games where he made under 10 and I am telling him, ‘We have to go to the nets and work out (what’s wrong)’, and he looked me in the eye and said, ‘No, I am not batting today’. I couldn’t really work that out.”
Shaw scored 827 runs in eight games at an average of 165.4 and strike-rate of 138.29 in the 2021 Vijay Hazare Trophy. His performance in the domestic scene has pleased Ponting and the Australian is ready to get the best out of Shaw in the 2021 IPL.
“He (Shaw) might have changed. I know he has done a lot of work over the last few months. That theory that he believed in might have changed; and hopefully it has because if we can get the best out of him, he could be a superstar player.”
During India’s recent tour of Australia, it was Ponting who memorably predicted Shaw’s dismissal two balls into the Test series in Adelaide, saying on commentary for Channel 7 that Shaw had a technical issue with balls swinging back into him. Mitchell Starc did exactly that and bowled Shaw for a duck.
A few months earlier during the IPL, Ponting tried to address Shaw’s technical flaws, but the batsman held his own and refused to budge. “I was going pretty hard at him,” said the former Australia captain. “I was basically telling him, ‘mate you got to get in the nets. Whatever you think you’re working on, is not working for you’.
“It’s my job as a coach to challenge someone’s preparation if they are not getting results. So I challenged him and he stuck to his word and he didn’t practice much at all towards the back-end of the 2020 IPL, and didn’t get many runs towards the back-end of the tournament either.”
Nevertheless, Ponting believes that Shaw is “one of the most talented” batsman he has seen in his entire life and the “diminutive” batsman has it in him to serve the Indian team for a long time in the future.
The captain is here, and he’s here with a sense of purpose 🔥@RishabhPant17, a man on a mission this #IPL2021 💙… https://t.co/xFvw2ybzd3
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1617646363000
“Maybe (his training habits) have changed for the better, because (his success) won’t just be for the Delhi Capitals. I am sure you will see him play a lot of cricket for India as well in the coming years,” said Ponting.
One clear goal for #IPL2021 🏆@RishabhPant17’s form and captaincy 🙌🏼Squad strength 💪🏻📹 | Ladies and gentlemen, o… https://t.co/3HsesDnoka
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) 1617632935000
“He is diminutive… in the (Sachin) Tendulkar sort of mould but hits the ball incredibly powerfully off front and back foot, and plays spin really well. If we can get him to take that form that he has just shown into the IPL, it just makes the balance of our Delhi Capitals side so good.
“If (the penny) does drop I am not sure I have seen many more talented players than him in my whole time of playing the game.”