Prithvi Shaw's reintegration into the national team will depend on how he shapes up post his doping suspension and a host of "other factors", India's batting coach Vikram Rathour said on Saturday.
All set to make a comeback in domestic cricket, Shaw was suspended for failing a dope test. Additionally, there were reports of the batsman losing focus during India's last tour of Australia, where he got injured in a warm-up game.
With Mayank Agarwal making a brilliant start to his Test career and Rohit Sharma also revelling in the opener's role, it could be a steep climb for the 20-year-old Mumbaikar, the second youngest Indian to score a hundred on Test debut.
Asked how the team management is planning to reintegrate Shaw in the side, Rathour replied: "Getting back into the team will be the selectors' decision. As far as team management is concerned, I think he's a phenomenal player. So let's see how it goes, how he shapes up after the suspension."
Rathour spoke about how man like Agarwal are setting the bar higher everyday.
"Rather than us (support staff) pushing them, they push us. Somebody like Mayank, after scoring so many runs, is still coming and asking what better he can do, what are the areas he can improve upon. That's a great character to have. And that's not one guy, everyone in the team is like that," Rathour said.
Shaw has fallen in the pecking order with Shubman Gill being designated as the Indian team's reserve opener. The talented K L Rahul remains in the scheme of things along with India A regulars Abhimanyu Easwaran and Priyank Panchal.
"I'm sure he's working hard and getting ready to come back. And how he gets back will depend on a lot of other factors."
While Rathour didn't specify what exactly he meant by other factors, the BCCI brass will certainly watch Shaw's moves keenly, especially his India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid, who has been a central figure in mentoring him during his time away from cricket.
Recently, on his 20th birthday, Shaw tweeted that it will be a new Prithvi that the cricketing world will witness.
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine