Indian teenage cricket prodigies might break world records at school and college, but most of them are for some reason cursed to underperform when they grow up. A statistical survey of  15  Indian teenagers who over the last century scored over 400 runs each at least once ( Mumbai’s Arman Jaffer is the only one who has done it twice), makes for a painful reading. 

Kalyan boy Pranav Dhanawade’s  who scored a mind boggling  1009 runs  today for his school KC Gandhi School against Arya Gurukul for  the H.T. Bhandari Cup inter-school cricket  match in Mumbai is in a sense is  lucky to have done it in an era where he is atleast  guaranteed  to make lots of money in the early part of his career  even if he does not go on to become a big India star.

Prithvi Shaw, the previous Indian record holder who scored 546 for his school Rizvi Springfield two years ago is now managed by Sunil Gavaskar’s company  Professional Management Group. He  recently landed a Rs 36 lakh deal with cricket gear maker SG, and played in the Yorkshire league last year in England. Sarfaraz Khan  who as a 12-year old scored 439 in 2009 playing for Rizvi Springfield also has a contract with PMG reportedly worth Rs 2 crore.

Khan along with fellow Springfielder Arman Jaffer (who scored 498 in 2010 and 473 in 2012) are now part of the just announced India U-19 World Cup team. Khan was bought by RCB last year in the IPL for Rs 50 lakh, and it won’t be long before Jaffer, Shaw and even  Dhanawade are also offered fat IPL contracts.  But how their career pan out in test cricket and ODIs remains to be seen. Going by historical records, fate has largely been unkind to young men who have had international record breaking scores when playing for school or college.

Deepak Chougule who grabbed a few headlines in 1996 by scoring 400 runs in an under 13 match playing for Karnataka vs Goa, was part of the India Under-19 team  but didn’t get too far. He is still playing Ranji Trophy and had a stint  for a season with the now defunct Kochi Tuskers.  He never made it to the senior national level side. Similarly   V Malhotra who made 419 batting for Punjab in an Under-19 match againsat Himachal Pradesh in 1989 is not a name many  would recognize now.

Fellow Punjab cricketer Chamanlal Malhtora is still among the only eight players in the world to have scoored 500 or more runs in a cricket match when he hit 502 not out for Mohindra College Patiala againsat Government College Ropar in 1956. He  played domestic cricket for nearly two decades, but never played for India. Ravi Deshmukh, who scored  442 runs in 1978 playing for Baroda University against Akola University retired after a decade long Ranji Trophy stint as largely unknown wicket keeper for Baroda.

The only cricketer in the list to have somewhat broken the jinx is  Wasim Jaffar who made it into the record books in 1993 when he scored 400 not out playing for his school Anjuman-e-Islam againsat Marwari Vidyalaya. Though he went on to play 31 Tests for the country with 5 centuries, he never really achieved the kind of heights which many people thought he would.

Looking at this serious run of bad luck of Indian teenage record breakers it would be interesting to see where the likes of  Pranav Dhanawade, Prithvi Shaw, Sarfaraz Khan and Arman Jaffer would  be 10 years from now

Score Name Match Location Date
1009* Pranav Dhanawade 2015-16
546 PP Shaw St Francis v Rizvi Azad Maidan 2013-14
515 DR Havewalla B.B & C.I Railways v St Xavier’s Bombay 1933-34
502* Chamanlal Mohindra Coll, Patiala v Government Coll, Rupar Patiala 1956-57
473 Arman Jaffer Rizvi Springfield School v IES VN Sule School Mumbai 2012-13
442 RY Deshmukh Baroda University v Akola University 1978-79
437 Gurpal Singh Khalsa College, Amristar v Government College Dharamsala 1960-61
431* SV Patkar Robert Morey High School v JJPB High School Bombay 1953-54
427 RS Nagdev Harris Shield Schools match Bombay 1963-64
422 SM Jadhav Sacred Hearts Boys HS v Hindi Vidyabhavan HS Bombay 1985-86
419 V Malhotra Punjab U17 v Himachal Pradesh U17 Delhi 1989-90
400* Wasim Jaffar Anjuman-e-Islami v Marwai Vidyalaya Bombay 1993-93
400* DA Chougule Karnataka U13 v Goa U13 Madras 1996-97

Source: ESPN CricInfo. Missing from the list Sarfaraz Khan who scored 439 for Rizvi Springfield against Indian Education Society (Kandivli) in 2009 in a Harris Shield match