Who is Prithvi Shaw? Cricketer revealed after becoming the youngest Indian to hit debut Test century
Prithvi Shaw left Indian cricket fans bowled over after becoming the fourth youngest debutant to score a test century, as the team thrashed the West Indies to be 364-4 on the first day of the series.
The 18-year-old cricketer opened for India and scored 134 off 154 balls, hitting 19 boundaries with Cheteshwar Pujara adding 86 and captain Virat Kohli was 71 not out.
Shaw said: ‘I was a bit nervous to start off but when I got in, I got comfortable. I just tried to play my natural game. I have played a lot of cricket since a smaller age.’
Prithvi Shaw celebrates his century during the first cricket test match between India and West Indies in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018
Who is Prithvi Shaw?
Now likened to cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, Prithvi Pankaj Shaw was born on November 9, 1999 and became the youngest Indian to make a century on his debut on day one of the first Test against West Indies in Rajkot.
The opener reached his hundred off just 99 balls to surpass Abbas Ali Baig’s record and also, is the fourth youngest to hit a debut ton in addition to being the second youngest to make a Test century after Tendulkar himself.
As reported by BBC, at age of 12 Shaw attended Cheadle Hulme School’s first team straight away and scored 1,446 runs during his three-month stay near Manchester, with former England bowler and head of the school Lucy Pearson praising his efforts.
‘He was just stellar from the outset – you can see a lot of quality cricketers at schoolboy and schoolgirl level but he really was a world apart. He constantly looked like a mini Michelin man because he wore as many jumpers as he could possibly put on.
‘The food was beyond tasteless for him – he couldn’t understand what was the point of a jacket potato’ and Pearson added that when Shaw arrived ‘wearing four jumpers, complaining about the food, smiling sweetly at people and thought they’d get him out no problem. But then he started to bat.’
Shaw, whose mother passed away when he was four, dedicated his first Test to his father, who had supported his career in cricket by travelling two-and-a-half hours to take his son to training in Mumbai from their home in Virar.
Pearson went on to say: ‘He had a real maturity for a young lad but he was also incredibly warm, good-humoured and quite cheeky. He has very strong values, he is ambitious, tenacious and he will certainly be a force to be reckoned with over the years.
‘This no surprise – we knew he was going to play for India one day.’ Shaw was the first Indian cricketer to join Cheadle Hulme School on a partnership set up by Samir Pathak and John Wilson, but later played club cricket in England two years after his initial stay.
Prithvi Shaw cricket
At age 14, Prithvi scored 546 off just 330 balls for his school Rizvi Springfield in India’s Harris Shield and since then, seems to have been making up for lost time after being called up to the squad for the final Test of this summer’s series against England, according to The Independent.
Shaw has also become a legend while playing for the Delhi Daredevils in this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) with Mark Waugh saying: ‘His grip, his stance, he stays very still at the crease and plays all his shots around the wicket.
‘He plays the ball quite late and is quite punchy in his strokeplay and has an excellent base to play any shot from any bowler. He’s just so much like Sachin Tendulkar,’ Waugh said.
Shaw led India to the U-19 World Cup title in 2018 and scored 261 runs in six matches, becoming the highest run-scorer among Indian captains in the tournament’s history. He surpassed Unmukht Chand’s tally of 246 runs in the 2012 edition of the tournament.
Jon Lewis, coach of the England Lions and who led England under-19s at a World Cup tournament won by India in New Zealand, also sees the similarities.
‘He’s obviously got a real intent to score but he doesn’t go far from the fundamentals of the game. He’s a Mumbai boy, brought up on Tendulkar. He’s a very short man and he has a classical technique.
‘A lot of the young Indian batsman have that kind of technique but they have a different tempo that they play at. He plays very straight and he plays very late. He has that back foot punch and the clip off the hip.
‘If you were looking for someone to emulate then you wouldn’t stray too far from Tendulkar – and if you’ve got someone that great to copy then why wouldn’t you?
‘He’s a confident boy. You play against him and he has that self belief. You can tell by the way he walks onto a cricket field that he feels he belongs there. The challenge for him will come when bowlers have had a chance to look at him and try and work him out.’
However, as reported by Economic Times, this is just the start of Prithvi Shaw’s cricket career. Remembering his father Ashok, he said: ‘I feel this has been a great year, we won the [Under-19] World Cup, the IPL debut happened, Test debut has happened too now.
‘I have been consistent. I was going match by match, it wasn’t a case of me thinking about international cricket after winning the World Cup. Whatever games came my way, I tried to give my best.
‘I want to dedicate this hundred to my dad, he has made a lot of sacrifices for me, he’s still doing it, he’s been very helpful throughout my journey, whenever I have been nervous or have gotten out early, I can’t list it out all but he’s done a lot.’
Last year, Prithvi became the second youngest player to score a three-figure mark in the Duleep Trophy with the record once again belonging to Sachin Tendulkar.
Sachin Tendulkar said: ‘Ten years ago, one of my friends asked me to take a look at a young Prithvi. He asked me to analyse his game and see if there anything he could work on. I had a session with him and gave couple of pointers on how to improve his game. I told my friend later that he is going to go on and play for India.’
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