Ever since he hit a world-record 546 run in a local Harris Shield match in Mumbai as a 14-year-old, comparisons with Sachin Tendulkar have followed Prithvi Shaw throughout his meteoric rise in cricket.
The 18-year-old opening batsman made history for India on Thursday when he became the youngest from his country to register a Test ton on debut.
The Mumbai-born teenager struck a fluent 134 in his maiden Test innings against the West Indies at Rajkot.
Like his idol Tendulkar, Shaw also registered tons on his Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy domestic debuts for Mumbai.
His century against the West Indies on Friday made him the second youngest Indian batsman after Tendulkar to do so in a Test match.
As expected, Tendulkar was full of praise for the youngster.
“Whatever I have seen of him (Shaw), he’s been a fast learner. To me, being talented is one thing but what you do with that talent becomes more important. If you want to succeed at the international level you’ve got to be a fast learner. And Prithvi is a very good learner,” Tendulkar told the Times of India in an interview.
“When somebody has to perform and sustain at this level, and play cricket at different grounds and conditions across the world for a long time to come, adaptability becomes the critical factor. I feel he has the knack to adapt to different situations and conditions. To me, that is Prithvi’s biggest strength,” the batting maestro added.
When asked what advice he would give to the youngster after his sensational international debut, Tendulkar replied, “Just go with the flow. Don’t calculate or think too much. Just enjoy your cricket. Every outing is a special outing. Every outing, you go out with a lot of pride. That’s what it was for me.
“I took a lot of pride in walking out on the field – be it for India or Mumbai or any club for that matter. Just give all the possible respect you can to the game.”
Aaron Finch was announced as the captain while Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey were named as vice-captains as Australia revealed its 14-man squad for the upcoming T20 series against Pakistan in the UAE.
Hard-hitting opener Chris Lynn was also named in the Aussie squad while Adam Zampa and Nathan Coulter-Nile made their international returns.
Glenn Maxwell was also included in the T20 squad after cruelly missing out on selection for the Test series against the same opponents. Test specialist Nathan Lyon could feature in his first T20 international since 2016 after being named in the squad.
There was a maiden Australia call-up was handed to Tasmania batsman Ted McDermott for the three-match series that gets underway in Abu Dhabi on October 24.
“Firstly, I’d like to acknowledge Aaron, Mitch and Alex on being announced as the new captain and vice-captains of the Australian T20 squad,” head coach Justin Langer said at the announcement of the squad.
“They are outstanding young men and extremely talented cricketers. To be endorsed by their peers, and to then back it up with powerful presentations, just showcased their leadership qualities and vision for Australian cricket,” Langer added.
The Australia coach lauded the leadership abilities of Finch who is currently the No1 ranked batsman in the T20 format.
“Aaron has already captained Australia in the recent T20s we played in Zimbabwe, and I’ve been extremely impressed with his impact on the Test squad over here in the UAE. We know he’s an exceptional player, and he’s arguably the most in form T20 player in the world at the moment,” he stated.
Most of the Australia squad are already in the UAE where they are preparing for the first of the two Tests against Pakistan which gets underway on Sunday.
AUSTRALIA 14-MAN T20 SERIES SQUAD
Aaron Finch (c), Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D’Arcy Short, Billy Stanlake, Mitchell Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
On an eventful day two in which two centuries were registered while nine wickets fell, the hosts consolidated their strong position at the end of Thursday to post 649-9dec in their first innings. The visitors unravelled fast in their reply and had slumped to 94-6 before stumps were finally drawn on Friday.
Here, we take a look at the key talking points from day two with the visitors staring at huge first-innings deficit.
KOHLI AND PANT INFLICT MORE MISERY ON HAPLESS WINDIES
The visitors had a tough day under the Rajkot sun on Thursday and there was more pain in store for them when they came out to take the field on day two. With Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant well-set, there was no respite for the Windies’ bowlers as runs flowed unabated in the morning session.
It was Pant who did the bulk of the run-scoring in the first session with Kohli content to sit back and play second fiddle. The young wicketkeeper batsman took his toll on a tired and worn out West Indies attack with four sixes flowing off his bat. In contrast, Kohli was a picture of concentration at the crease and accumulated runs with the old-school approach of wearing down the opposition.
The pair added 133 runs for the fifth wicket with Pant scoring 92 of those himself. The 21-year-old missed out on a second Test ton after mishitting Devendra Bishoo to short third-man but Kohli continued his march and brought up an inevitable 24th Test ton in the second session.
The two batsman put paid to any hopes the visitors had of clawing their way back into the game early on day two with their contrasting innings.
LOCAL BOY JADEJA DELIGHTS WITH MAIDEN TEST TON
It was written in the stars. For all his years of service in international cricket, Ravindra Jadeja had never been really able to fulfill his batting promise. For a man who had registered three first-class triple tons for Saurashtra, an international Test ton had eluded him for far too long.
Back on his home ground in Rajkot, the platform had been perfectly laid out for the India all-rounder to shine after Kohli and Pant’s strong showings in the first half of the day. Following their dismissals, Jadeja took it upon himself to push the run-scoring and he thrived in doing so against a tiring Windies attack. The left-hander had to bat with the tail at the latter stages of his innings as he approached a maiden Test hundred.
It seemed like he would run out of partners before getting to the milestone but some decent blocking at the other end by last man Mohammed Shami ensured that the local boy would not miss out on his crowning moment. Jadeja got to the elusive mark with a single and let out a deafening roar as he brought out his customary sword-wielding celebrations.
SHAMI AND SPINNERS STRANGLE WINDIES BATSMEN
With Kohli calling in his men following Jadeja’s landmark ton, a sapped and drained Windies were given a tough task of batting out the final session on day two.
With a mountain to climb in front of them, the visitors faltered and faltered hard. In the very third over of the innings, Mohammed Shami dismissed skipper Kraigg Brathwaite with a sharp in-swinger after setting him up earlier with deliveries that went away from the right-hander. The umpires checked for a front-foot no-ball and adjudged the batsman out despite Shami’s foot being on the line. The India pacer struck again in his next over by trapping Kieran Powell lbw with the West Indies opener even opting for a futile review.
Things went from bad to worse for Brathwaite’s men with Shimron Hetmyer run-out by a mile following a horrible mix-up with Sunil Ambris. The cats were well and truly set among the pigeons for the men from the Caribbean when Ravi Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav and Jadeja came on to bowl. All three Indian spinner struck early in the spells with Ashwin accounting for the dangerous Shai Hope while Jadeja accounted for Ambris. Kuldeep, meanwhile, beat Shane Dowrich all ends up to castle the wicketkeeper batsman at the stroke of stumps to leave the visitors reeling at 74-6.