Rajkot, Oct 4: Prithvi Shaw kept reminding himself to “play my game” and treated the occasion like any other match as he became the youngest Indian to score a ton on Test debut.
He conceded that he couldn’t completely shut out the enormity of the occasion – “every cricketer dreams of playing in the Indian side … I didn't want to lose this opportunity” – but exuded the fearlessness of youth as he launched his Test career in epic fashion.
The feat came during the first day of the Rajkot Test against West Indies, where India finished the day 364/4, with Shaw scoring 134 from 154 deliveries at the top of the order. Cheteshwar Pujara (86) and Virat Kohli (72 not out) were also in good form, an ICC report said.
“I'm feeling really good after the hundred,” Shaw said at the end of the day's play. “At first I was a bit nervous, but when I got in I was quite comfortable and I was just trying to play my natural game – what I do in first-class cricket and India A."
“I just kept on going. I didn't think about this being my first game, I was just thinking it's another game for me, and it just happened," he said."It was on my mind that it's my first time in Test cricket – ‘how am I supposed to bat?’ But on the other hand, I was like 'I'll play my game'. I was confident after playing 10-15 overs. I was just playing the ball on merit and I just kept going," said Shaw.
The starlet, who has today earned praise from a host of former Test cricketers, including Michael Vaughan and VVS Laxman, dedicated his inaugural Test hundred to his father. “I was thinking of my dad, because he has sacrificed a lot of things for me,” he said. “The first hundred is all for him. Whenever I score, I score for him."
“It was a big thing for me because each and every cricketer dreams of playing in the Indian side and I got the chance. I didn't want to lose this opportunity. It was a good challenge for me to play against these guys and I think I did well,” Shaw said.
Despite only being 18 years of age, Shaw has a lot of cricket under his belt and he has praised the Indian cricket system. “From a small age we used to play a lot of school cricket, 30-35 games in a year in school cricket, then Under-16 games," he said."When I came to Under-19 I played a lot of cricket and got a lot of experience. Then India A as well, and Ranji Trophy, it just keeps going on. Because of all those games I gained experience, and from all the experience I got earlier I brought [into play] over here and just played my game,” said Shaw.
Despite a special knock from a player of whom so much is expected, Shaw was clearly disappointed when he was caught and bowled by Windies spinner Devendra Bishoo.“I don't think it was enough scoring that hundred,” he added. “The wicket was good and I should have kept batting. I was really disappointed. That was in my mind: 'it's only ten minutes [until the tea break], you have to be just a bit careful.' Just that odd ball came, it bounced and gripped a bit,” Shaw added. (UNI)