With a win in the third and final ODI at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Friday, India won the three-match ODI series 2-1 and this was the first time they won a bilateral ODI series Down Under (with more than three matches in a series). India had already won the 4-match Test series that preceded the ODIs. But one particular member of the team who saw his teammates march to one victory after another rued sitting on the sidelines for the whole tour.
Prithvi Shaw, who had a dream start to his Test career, hitting a century on debut against the West Indies last year, injured his ankle just before the Tests started, thereby missing the entire series. The young sensation from Mumbai who is now back in India nursing his injury says that even though he was out of the action, he was really impressed by the team's performance, especially its bowlers who outsmarted the home batsmen.
"It was a huge achievement for us as an Indian cricket team to win a Test series against Australia in Australia. The team combination was perfect. The way the bowlers bowled, I haven't seen a fast bowling attack of this calibre in my cricketing career. The batsmen also gave their best for the team. All of them clicked at some time or the other. Kohli Bhai, Pujara Bhai, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant - they were trying their best. It feels really good to win the Test series after playing so hard," Shaw told IndiaTV.
Shaw, 19, injured his left ankle while attempting a catch in a practice game against Cricket Australia XI. The Mumbaikar had scored 66 in that game in Sydney.
Speaking about the incident Shaw said: "It was an unfortunate incident and you can't really do anything about that. It was my wish to play in the challenging conditions in Australia. I love the bounce there. But unfortunately, I suffered a leg injury. But that's okay, I am very happy that India won the Test series. It can't get better than this."
While revealing the details of how he got injured Prithvi said: "We were playing the practice match in Sydney ahead of the first Test. I was standing at deep mid-wicket and Ash bhai (R Ashwin) was bowling and a catch came towards me. I caught the ball while jumping backwards in the air and my body weight fell on my left foot when I landed. It was a bit uneven there and my ankle got twisted 90 degrees and the entire bodyweight fell on that. That's how it happened. I was trying hard to play in the second Test and the physios too were trying to get me fit for the match. However, the more they tried, the swelling increased and it got more painful. So, I thought even if I play, I will not be able to give my 100 per cent because it was not easy to play with that pain."
Prithvi added that getting injured right before a big series like this was quite disappointing but his teammates' support helped him overcome the situation.
"I got full support of the team at that time because I was very disappointed with the injury. I had practised hard for the tour and had many things in my mind that I thought I would do there. So, it was disheartening. But yeah, now I am happy that we won the series," added the teenager.
With the Australia tour over, Prithvi is looking to regain full fitness with the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting in March followed by the World Cup in England.
"I will be fit before the Indian Premier League and I am trying hard to reach full fitness. I am working on my ankle as well as on my upper body," Shaw signed off.
(As told to IndiaTV Sports Correspondent Vaibhav Bhola)