The 18-year-old Prithvi Shaw has been called up for the Indian Test team for the 4th and 5th Test against England in what is turning out to be a nerve-wracking series for the cricket fans. 2018 has been a memorable and life-changing year for the young Shaw as his remarkable rise has left everyone in awe with the talented youngster.
It all began when the 18-year-old led team India to lift the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand in January. His brilliant display in the tournament caught the eyes of many Indian Premier League (IPL) teams as he was finally picked up by Delhi Daredevils for his debut stint in the cash-rich T20 cricket league. Shaw banked on the exposure gained in the IPL and put up consistent, steady performances for India ‘A’ side and then came the dream call for the final two Tests against England.
Shaw caught the eye of many when he scored an unbelievable knock of 546 runs for his school Rizvi Springfield that included 85 boundaries and five maximums. And to the surprise of many, that superlative batting display came in the Harris Shield tournament that became famous for Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli’s partnership of 664 runs, a world record at that time.
"Tendulkar is my idol in cricket and one thing I try to pick up from him is how he carries himself in a humble manner," he had said after that dream knock as comparision with Sachin Tendulkar started to circulate.
The Mumbai Ranji Trophy team took a chance with Shaw in January 2017 as injuries to their regular openers made them cry for someone who could take the charge and according to ESPNcricinfo, their selector rang up India’s youth team coach, Rahul Dravid and enquired about Shaw.
“Of course you should consider him,” said ‘The Wall’.
Shaw grabbed the opportunity with both hands as he scored a brilliant century for Mumbai to cement a place in the finals, and yes, he was named the Man of the Match. He followed up by scoring an impressive 71 and 44 in the finals. All eyes were on the brilliant Shaw even after the mighty Mumbai lost the Ranji Trophy final.
The flicky youngster then made his mark in the international circuit as he led India to a victorious campaign of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, where he scored 261 runs in six matches.
Shaw won all the accolades as he gave solid starts with the bat and turned matches with his brave decisions as a captain. Such was his style that West Indies legend Ian Bishop once said “That is Tendulkar”.
Prithvi Shaw’s performance at the U-19 World Cup prompted a bidding war at the auctions of the IPL 2018, where Delhi Daredevils eventually signed him for Rs 1.2 crore – six times of his base price of Rs 20 lakh.
He eventually started the IPL campaign by sitting on the dugout but he grabbed the attention again as he scored 245 runs in nine games with an impressive strike-rate of 153.12.
Shaw didn’t stop scoring when the BCCI chose him in the India A squad for the shadow tour of England where he scored a ton against West Indies A in a fifty-over game. He then scored 188 runs against West Indies A in a four-day match.
The 18-year-old battered South Africa A with a score of 136 runs in Bengaluru and sealed the selector’s decision to name him in the Test Squad for the 4th and 5th Test and hopefully the ‘Shaw will go on’