Prithvi plays one through the off side during the England U-19 v India U-19 tie in Chesterfield, England in July this year. Pic/Getty Images
When Prithvi Shaw scored that monumental 546 for Rizvi Springfield during a Harris Shield match at Azad Maidan in 2013, he was already compared to a schoolboy Sachin Tendulkar. Four years hence, the prolific Mumbai batsman has emulated Tendulkar by scoring a century on debut in both the Ranji and Duleep Trophies.
Youngest Duleep centurion
At 17 years and 320 days, Prithvi became the youngest player to score a ton on debut in the Duleep Trophy final yesterday. He now partners Tendulkar as the youngest centurions for Mumbai in first-class cricket. Deepak Hooda is the only other player to score a century on debut in the Ranji and Duleep Trophy.
Opening batsman Prithvi (154) and captain Dinesh Karthik (111) powered India Red to 317 for five in their first innings against India Blue on the opening day yesterday.
Prithvi shared a 211-run, third-wicket partnership with Tamil Nadu veteran Karthik, who cracked his 27th ton in first-class cricket.
He was included in the India Red team as a replacement for the unwell Abhinav Mukund. The talented batsman was kept on the sidelines in the previous two matches. But when he finally got a chance in the final at the Ekana International Stadium yesterday, he grabbed the opportunity with both hands, scoring a brilliant century against India Blue.
Prithvi had made his first-class debut in the Ranji Trophy semi-final earlier this year and heralded his arrival with a superb 120 in the second innings after getting out for just four in the first against Tamil Nadu at Rajkot. In the final against Gujarat at Indore, he got 71 and 44, to prove that he indeed had the temperament to graduate further.
Thereafter, Prithvi played in the Youth U-19 Test matches and one-day games and did well for himself, scoring a century in the fourth one-day game against England U-19s. On the following England Youth tour, he got 86 and 69, and 51 and 44 in the two Youth Tests at Chesterfield and Worcester respectively. The India under-19 coach WV Raman had nothing but praise for the teenager saying that he was the best player on the tour in testing English conditions.
Thrived on big chance
Following his exploits at the junior level, Prithvi was desperate to prove his prowess further. However, his name was missing when the Duleep Trophy squads were announced. But he got a late call when he replaced an unwell Mukund in the India Red team. Even when he was benched in the two league matches, he did not get disheartened and waited for his turn. Once again, proving that he has a big-match temperament, he played a mature innings belying his age and batted the whole of the first day. These are early days for young Prithvi and he has a long way to go, but there is little doubt that he has the talent and the calibre to continue the Mumbai tradition of providing top-class batsmen to Indian cricket.
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