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
|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