After suffering a ban for doping violations, Indian cricketer Prithvi Shaw has made a roaring return to domestic cricket. First, he showed his good form in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy and now, has scored a double century, his first one, in first-class cricket.
What's more, Shaw didn't just score a double hundred, he walloped the Baroda bowlers. His 202 came off just 179 balls and included 19 fours and four sixes. To add further luster to this knock, it came in the second innings when his team was looking to set a target for the opposition.
But his wasn't the only blazing innings of the day. Suryakumar Yadav also pummelled the bowlers to score a 102 in just 70 balls. The Mumbai innings was declared at 409/4 in 66.2 overs. The run-rate of 6.16 was a testament to the domination that Shaw and Yadav had over the Baroda bowlers in their respective knocks.
With one day remaining, Baroda is staring at defeat, having lost three of their wickets in 16.4 overs before the close of day's play.
What does this mean for Shaw?
But more important than the scorecard is the question: Does this bring Shaw back into contention for a spot in the Indian Test team?
It should because Shaw has only played two Test matches so far in his career and has scored one hundred and one half-century already. His absence from the tour of Australia that followed his debut series was occasioned by an injury. Then, the doping ban prevented him from making a comeback when the Indian side went to the West Indies.
However, things have changed immensely in the Test team since Shaw's last appearance. At that time, the Indian top order, the opening slots to be particular, were in flux. Both Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan were being discarded and new batsmen searched for it.
But now, Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal have cemented their respective positions as the openers. So, there is no vacancy at the top of the batting line-up. But in a squad, there is always a place for a reserve opener. This is where Prithvi has an opportunity. If he can carry his form through for a few more weeks, selectors, who have already seen his quality, may choose him as the third opener.
So, after his magnificent effort against Baroda, Shaw is certainly back in the reckoning. However, it will take a few more performances to make his case stronger.