Before the ICC Under-19 World Cup started, Prithvi Shaw insisted that India arrived in New Zealand with the sole purpose of lifting the trophy and the team did not take long to send out a statement of intent. Riding on fine fifties from their top three – Prithvi Shaw, Manjot Kalra and Shubman Gill, the Indian colts piled up a huge 328 for 7 in their opening World Cup encounter against Australia at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui.
After deciding to bat first, Shaw, who has five centuries in just nine first-class games to his name, led the side from the front and was well supported by Manjot Kalra as the opening duo added a massive 180 runs for the first wicket. The first over of the game was a maiden over, but it was not at all a precursor of the things to follow. Shaw and Kalra scored at a brisk pace right from the very start, taking India to 55 after the end of the first powerplay.
Things could have been different for both the teams had Will Sutherland not overstepped when Shaw nicked one behind when he was batting on just 25 before the India opener grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The India captain reached his fifty off 55 balls when he scored a single off Lloyd Pope in the 18th over. On the other end, Kalra was matching his skipper shot for shot, reaching his fifty off 55 balls as India scored a healthy 118 by the time the 20th over ended.
Both the openers were looking primed to score well-deserved centuries before being dismissed against the run of play. Shaw was the first to depart when Sutherland dismissed him for 94 to end the mammoth 180-run stand. 20 runs later; Param Uppal accounted for Kalra when he was just 14 short of a century.
Shubman Gill then took the onus on himself to capitalize on the start provided by the openers as he scored 63 and added 49 runs with Himanshu Rana (14) to take India close to the 300-run mark before offering a return catch to Jack Edwards in the 46th over. An 8-ball 23 runs knock from Abhishek Sharma then helped India cross the 300-run mark. The lower-order batsmen also played handy knocks as the three-time champions finished their innings on a mammoth 328 for 7.
Here is how Twitter reacted to the innings:
Prithvi Shaw looks so special. Brilliant 94 and a really solid start for India. Cheering for the boys, for many of whom this is a significant event in their endeavour to be India Cricketers. #INDvAUS #U19CWC
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) January 14, 2018
— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) January 14, 2018
— Boria Majumdar (@BoriaMajumdar) January 14, 2018
Solid first innings by the U19 boys.. What a pocket size prodigy this Prithvi Shaw is. But it's Shubman Gill & other cameos that's taken Ind to 327.. Over to the bowlers now.. Hope they got this covered #U19CWC #IndvAus
— Jatin Sapru (@jatinsapru) January 14, 2018
If we go by the early signs, in Prithvi Shaw we have a gem in our hand, cool temparement, terrific shot selection, proper cricketing brain.
— Vivek Tiwari (@areytiwariji) January 14, 2018
— Kulamani Muduli (@thisissanu) January 14, 2018
#INDvAUS prithvi is a brian lara clone he has all the time in the world, lets see how he goes against faster bowlers.
— Wine_e (@leaguelegendnot) January 14, 2018