Prithvi Shaw is making all the right moves at the moment, and catching eyeballs with his scintillating performances.
He caught eyeballs in his debut Ranji game (against Tamil Nadu) itself, by scoring a match-winning hundred. He did have a stroke of luck on his side, when he was on 99. Shaw was caught by B Aparajith, but thankfully, the bowler Vijay Shankar had overstepped.
Since then, there’s been no looking back for Shaw. There was a doubt about whether his performances would translate on the international stage as well, but Shaw managed to prove his critics wrong by turning up a great performance (scored 66) against the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, for a match he played for Board President’s XI.
“I heard he was 17, I couldn’t quite believe it. He played very nicely. The ball swung around nicely at the start, and it didn’t seem to trouble him. He has a promising career ahead of him if all things go well. But very impressed with the first look,” Boult told reporters after the match.
He first hit headlines by scoring a record 546 (it was then) for his school Rizvi Springfield, and soon after landed a neat sponsorship (Rs 36 lakh) deal with bat manufacturer SG.
There are similarities between his story and Sachin Tendulkar’s. Both players caught the eye of national selectors at a young age, and both players scored a century in their debut Duleep Trophy match. His performance for the Mumbai Ranji team has also been amazing, with him smashing three tons in five matches.
“Right from the start, ever since my U-14 camps, all the coaches had taught me about the ‘Khadoos’ (Gritty, Unrelenting, win at all costs) spirit of Mumbai cricket. So right from very young age they have instilled this ‘Khadoos’ attitude in me. Since that point I have developed this attitude (and hunger for big scores),” he said in an interview with Firstpost.
Not that his story has been without its share of setbacks. Shaw was just four when he lost his mother. But despite that tragedy, Shaw managed to find a purpose in life and his prowess with the bat must be making his mother smile up there in the heavens.
It might take some time for him to earn his first India cap, but if he keeps scoring runs as freely as he is doing now, it won’t be long. We could perhaps even expect him to be in the mix of things in 2019 World Cup. Only time will tell. Shaw’s job should be to not let these expectations get the better of him (like what happened with Unmukt Chand) and keep challenging himself to get better with every match.