India skipper Virat Kohli feels that Prithvi Shaw should not be compared with anyone and should be given space to grow after the youngster’s stunning entry into international cricket.
Hailed as a child prodigy, Prithvi Shaw has not looked back since making his first-class debut. The 18-year old made his first-class debut for Mumbai in the semi-finals of the 2016–17 Ranji Trophy on 1 January 2017. He had gone on score a century in the second innings to bag the Man of the Match award.
The right-handed batsman also scored a century in his debut match of the Duleep Trophy. He equaled the record held by Sachin Tendulkar, who had scored for the first time a century each in his debut matches of Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy respectively. He then led India to Under-19 World Cup title and impressed in the Indian Premier League. Shaw then went on to impress for India A in the last couple of months.
It paved the way for his maiden Test call midway through the England series. He did not get to play any game in England but got his chance in the first Test against West Indies. And the 18-year old throughly justified the faith shown in him as well as the hype surrounding him by cracking a stunning century.
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Shaw became 15th Indian batsman to score a hundred on debut. Overall he is the 105th player to achieve the feat in Test cricket. The opener also became the fourth youngest player of all time to hit a debut ton and the second youngest Indian to make a Test century after Sachin Tendulkar.
Not surprisingly, accolades have been coming in from all quarters for India’s latest batting sensation. However, Virat Kohli, who himself had to deal with a lot off attention in his early days, feels that Shaw should be left alone to concentrate just only on his game.
“I don’t think he should be rushed into anything yet because you need to give a youngster a space to grow, in his own abilities. This guy is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw,” the skipper said at the pre-match press conference.
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“We definitely think he (Shaw) has it in him to play at the highest level and he can repeat what he did in the first game. He is a very keen learner, a sharp guy. He understands situations well. We are all very happy for him,” he added.
Shaw scored his ton off just 99 balls. His stroke-play made many compare him with the legendary Virender Sehwag.
Speaking about comparisons, Kohli said:
” Shouldn’t compare him to anyone yet. We shouldn’t put him in a space where he feels pressure of any kind and he should be left in a space where he enjoys his cricket and slowly grows into a player we all believe in.”
India, meanwhile, will take on West Indies in the second Test from October 12 at Hyderabad.