After a dream Test debut against the West Indies at Rajkot, India opener Prithvi Shaw has said that he was well prepared to play his maiden Test match against a potent English attack last month. Shaw was named in India’s squad for the final two Tests in England but did not get a chance to make his debut there.
On Thursday (October 4), however, Shaw made the most of his maiden opportunity, scoring a sublime 134 and, at 18 years and 329 days, becoming the youngest Indian to reach the three-figure mark on debut.
“It was captain and coach’s decision (of when to give me a game). I was ready in England as well but finally got the opportunity here,” Shaw told reporters after the end of first day’s play.
“But it I was a great experience in England. They made feel really comfortable. Virat bhai told me there is no senior or junior in the team. It was nice sharing the dressing room with players who have played international cricket for more than five years. Everyone is a friend now,” he added.
With this ton, Shaw also etched his name alongside eminent Indian cricketers like Mohammad Azharuddin, Lala Amarnath, Sourav Ganguly, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina and Virender Sehwag who slammed a century in their Test debut.
“I was nervous at the start but settled down after I timed a few nicely. After that, I didn’t feel the pressure that I felt at the start of the innings. I like to dominate bowlers and that is what I was trying to do, waiting for the loose balls,” he asserted.
Having scored a hundred on his maiden Ranji and Duleep Trophy appearance, Shaw replicated the same at the highest level.
When asked how he manages to rise to the occasion time and again, the teenager said: “I don’t know how I manage but whenever go in the middle, I try to play to the merit of the ball and even in this game I went in with the same mindset. I did not try anything new thinking it is my first Test. Played the same way I have played India A and domestic cricket.”
“Having said that, there is a lot of difference if you compare international cricket with the U-19 and domestic cricket. They come with a lot of strategies in international cricket. You face bowlers with a lot more pace. Sometimes you face serious pace in domestic cricket but here is a lot more variety and experience,” he explained.
Following the triumphant Under-19 World Cup as a captain and a batsman earlier this year, Shaw’s career graph has been on the upward curve. He also fetched an IPL contract with Delhi Daredevils for INR 1.20 crores and impressed one and all by scoring 245 runs from 9 matches in the cash-rich event.
Despite all the success at such an early age, Prithvi remains grounded as he dedicated his maiden Test ton to his father, who raised him as a single parent after his mother passed away when he was just four.
“I never thought of making my India debut right after the U-19 win. I took it match by match. It finally happened today. I dedicate this innings to my father. He has made a lot of sacrifice for me. I cannot even describe it now. I was thinking about my dad, as he has sacrificed a lot for me. Whenever I scored a hundred I thought of him and this is my first Test hundred, it’s all for him,” Shaw concluded.
(With PTI inputs)