Virat Kohli wants space for debutant Prithvi Shaw to grow as a cricketer
Shaw kicked off his Test career with a brilliant 134 against the Windies.
Updated - Oct 11, 2018 2:32 pm
Indian captain Virat Kohli has demanded, “some space” for debutant Prithvi Shaw to grow as a cricketer, who has already been compared to batting legends. 18-year-old Shaw made his Test and international debut for India last Thursday, during India’s first Test against the Windies in Rajkot. Shortly after receiving his maiden Test cap, the teenager walked out to open the innings for India and was instantly in command of the first session.
He notched up his maiden Test century faster than run-a-ball, and also became the youngest Indian batsman to score a hundred on debut. He was dismissed after getting to 134 and was instantly showered with praises for his sensational batting display. Within no time, his batting began to draw parallels with the likes of former India greats Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag.
However, Kohli, who himself hit stardom early in his career, called for some space for young Shaw to grow as a cricketer. On the eve of the second Test in Hyderabad, the captain addressed the media. Regarding the opener’s successful start in international cricket, Kohli said, “I don’t think he should be rushed into anything yet because you need to give a youngster a space to grow, in his own abilities. This guy is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw.”
Shaw a keen learner
“We definitely think he (Shaw) has it in him to play at the highest level and he can repeat what he did in the first game. He is a very keen learner, a sharp guy. He understands situations well. We are all very happy for him,” he added.
Both Virat and Prithvi had the limelight on them their teens, primarily because of their success as captains for India U19 – both led the young India side to a World Cup victory. Subsequently, both cricketers bagged IPL contracts and grabbed the opportunity to play alongside some of the best in the world with both hands. Prithvi, in particular, was brilliant during the 2018 IPL where he represented the Delhi Daredevils. Opening the batting for his side, he maintained a strike rate of 153.
Kohli also echoed Indian opener Gautam Gambhir, who felt that people should stop comparing Prithvi Shaw to the great Virender Sehwag, saying, “We shouldn’t compare him to anyone yet. We shouldn’t put him in a space where he feels pressure of any kind and he should be left in a space where he enjoys his cricket and slowly grows into a player we all believe in.”
Prithvi Shaw’s form could well put him on a flight to Australia next month when India take on Tim Paine’s side in a lengthy series. At what point in time he gets to feature in India’s limited-overs sides remains to be seen.