India vs WI: Shaw set for Rajkot test debut

India vs WI: Shaw set for Rajkot test debut

It was at the Saurashtra Cricket Association (SCA) stadium here that the gifted Prithvi Shaw made his first big statement. 

Making his domestic debut, the Mumbai lad slammed a stroke-filled century against Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy semifinal in January last. Following an exciting 21-month journey, Shaw is ready for his dream moment at the same venue.

Shaw is set to play his maiden international game when India take on West Indies in the first of the two Tests here from Thursday. He had come close to making his India debut when he was named in the squad for the final two Tests against England recently.   

Just like he took many by surprise with that fearless 120-run knock against Tamil Nadu, Shaw has never ceased to amaze at every step of his fast-growing career. With his trademark relentless aggressive style of play, Shaw has piled 1418 runs in 14 first-class games at an impressive average of 56.72.

Just 18 years old, Shaw has a superb understanding of his game. While he bats with great confidence, the teenager is aware of his shortcomings as well. “After my first domestic season, I tried to correct my technique a bit. Like getting my back foot across and not down the leg. But Rahul (Dravid) sir told me that it’s not required to stress too much on changing my style if I am getting runs with the way I am playing. I know what works for me,” Shaw had said in August, after an entertaining century (136) for India ‘A’ against South Africa ‘A’ in Bengaluru.

This level-headed approach has helped him lead the India U-19 team to World Cup triumph in New Zealand earlier this year. Not just at home, Shaw has found a way to succeed in difficult conditions, scoring a fifty and a century for India ‘A’ in England in July.  

 “I love hitting the ball. Right from my school days, I am an attacking player,” Shaw had said.

Shaw’s knocks are easy on the eye. With his strong starts, he can upset the rhythm of the bowlers. It remains to be seen if the youngster can deliver on the big stage.