Mumbai: Recovering from a shoulder injury, the precocious Prithvi Shaw could make it to New Zealand, his hopes brightened after what he termed a "superb net session".
With the Indian selectors yet to name the ODI and Test squads for the tour of New Zealand, all is still not lost for the 20-year-old Shaw.
He was in sparkling touch since returning from his eight-month doping ban, but a shoulder injury on the opening day of Mumbai's Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka cut short his run, ruling him out of India A's two practice matches in New Zealand.
However, his net session has sent a positive signal.
"My favourite sound. The sound when the ball hits the middle of my bat. Superb net sessions going on," Shaw tweeted alongside a video of the session.
My favourite sound. The sound when the ball hits the middle of my bat. Superb net sessions going on. pic.twitter.com/Iw8bUJXE4N
— Prithvi Shaw (@PrithviShaw) January 14, 2020
He was seen driving, cutting and flicking with ease.
Shaw had hurt his left shoulder while trying to save an overthrow during Mumbai's the match against Karnataka at the Bandra Kurla Complex.
He was expected to figure in India A's two practice games during the New Zealand tour.
The selectors will be keen to see if Shaw will be available for the Test series in New Zealand. The first Test will get underway on 21 February at the Basin Reserve in Hamilton and the second match is scheduled to be played at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch, starting 29 February.
The selectors are to make the team announcement on 19 January.
In the first Ranji match against Baroda, he scored 202 and 66. Prior to that, he amassed runs in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy.
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The Indian team has turned into a mini-hospital with multiple players nursing injuries, so much so that it became difficult to field a fit playing XI for the fourth Test which began on Friday.
Given the nature of the last few series between these teams, it would be naive to think too far ahead; but all factors considered, India will know they have some clawing back to do when they step out at the SCG on day two.
Natarajan, after a hugely successful IPL, joined the Indian contingent as a net bowler but has subsequently risen up the ranks to make his ODI and T20 International debuts.