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Ricky Ponting. File photo: PTI

Ponting is in awe of this Indian player, feels he can play 100 Tests

Delhi Capitals (DC) head coach Ricky Ponting has yet again heaped praise on youngster Prithvi Shaw. The former Australian captain has now said that he wants to make sure that the talented batsman plays more than 100 Tests for India.

In the ongoing IPL, opening batsman Shaw has scored 190 runs in four matches with two half-centuries.

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The 22-year-old scored a century on Test debut against the West Indies in October 2018. However, loss of form, injury, and high competition for India Test slots has so far seen him play only five Tests. He has also featured in six ODIs and one T20I.

In 2019, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had banned him for eight months for a doping violation.

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Speaking on DC’s podcast, Ponting said Shaw had the same talent that he had.

“If I look at Prithvi play, he has got every bit as much talent as I had, if not more, and I want to be able to turn him into a player that plays over 100 Test matches for India and represents his country as much as possible. That is one of the most enjoyable things about coaching, if I look back the teams I have been around,” Ponting said.

This is not the first time that the Australian had showered encomiums on the Mumbai batsman.

In 2021, Ponting said on the Grade Cricketer podcast, “Prithvi Shaw is so good. Technically, in Australia last summer, he wasn’t ready. He is an exceptional talent. At the start of the IPL in the first half in India this year, he was as good as I have ever seen anyone bat, both off the front and the back foot.

The way he picks the bat up, he plays the short ball better than any Indian probably because he is prepared nice and early. He has got a high backlift and good wrist work.”

Also last year, he told Cricket Australia’s (CA) website, “He’s (Shaw) diminutive … in the (Sachin) Tendulkar sort of mould but hits the ball incredibly powerfully off the front and back foot, and plays spin really well.”

Ponting, who has earlier played for and coached Mumbai Indians (MI), said that as a coach he wants to make sure more players play for the country.

“When I took over Mumbai Indians, Rohit Sharma was very young. Hardik Pandya had not played, Krunal Pandya had not played. Lot of guys I have coached over there have gone on to play for India and that is what I want to be able to do here. If I can have some impact with the way these guys play their cricket with us and when they leave, if they go on to be good international players as a result of being here, that is what coaching is all about for me,” he said.

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