Kohli shields Shaw from Ten­dulkar shadow

An­other cen­tury in the sec­ond match against the WI would see ‘boy won­der’ join a group of greats who all hit tons in their first two Tests

Gulf Times Sport - - CRICKET -

Vi­rat Kohli sought to pro­tect pro­lific teenager Prithvi Shaw yes­ter­day from the weight of com­par­isons with In­dia leg­end Sachin Ten­dulkar af­ter the young bats­man’s Test de­but cen­tury last week.

An­other cen­tury in the sec­ond match against the West Indies which be­gins to­day in Hyderabad would see Shaw join a small group of greats in­clud­ing Mo­hamed Azharud­din, Sourav Gan­guly and Rohit Sharma who all hit tons in their first two Tests.

The 18-year-old be­came In­dia’s youngest player to score a de­but cen­tury and his coun­try’s sec­ond youngest in all Tests af­ter Ten­dulkar — who was 17 when he made an un­beaten 119 against Eng­land in his ninth Test.

Shaw’s sparkling 134 in the first Test rout in Ra­jkot had some com­men­ta­tors dub­bing him In­dia’s “boy won­der” ahead of the tour of Aus­tralia next month.

But cap­tain Kohli warned In­dia’s no­to­ri­ously de­mand­ing fans not to ex­pect too much too soon from Shaw, who was ear­marked as a fu­ture star when as a 14-year-old he hit a record 546 off 330 balls in a Mum­bai school game in 2013.

“We are all very happy for him but I don’t think we should com­pare him to any­one yet or we should put him in a space where he starts feel­ing pres­sure,” Kohli told re­porters.

“He should be left to en­joy his cricket and slowly grow into the crick­eter that we all believe he can be,” said Kohli who hailed the diminu­tive right han­der as “supremely tal­ented”.

“He has shown that in the first Test al­ready and we believe he can keep re­peat­ing that be­cause he is a very keen learner, he is a very sharp guy and he un­der­stands sit­u­a­tions re­ally well.”

Kohli said Shaw, 21-year-old wick­et­keeper bats­man Rishabh Pant and bats­man Hanuma Vi­hari, 24, had learned to han­dle the stress of top com­pe­ti­tion by play­ing in the In­dian Premier

League.

BIG STAGE VET­ER­ANS

“One al­ways feels that pres­sure when you wear your coun­try’s cap on the morn­ing of the match but yes, I think it’s not as in­tense as say 10-15 years back when you didn’t have any

ex­po­sure to this kind of cricket,” said Kohli.

“They have played in sit­u­a­tions like the IPL where they have played in front of so many peo­ple that they are not ner­vous any more of the big stage,” he added.

“They are not over­awed by

the sce­nario and I think that’s al­ways go­ing to be an ad­van­tage be­cause the guys can be fear­less and they can start do­ing the job from game one.”

Shaw’s 2013 school­boy ex­ploits had al­ready caused com­par­isons to be made with Ten­dulkar, who rose to promi­nence in the same Har­ris Shield com­pe­ti­tion more than two decades ear­lier.

Shaw went on to make more head­lines in In­dia with de­but cen­turies in both the do­mes­tic Ranji Tro­phy and Duleep Tro­phy and he was awarded the cap­taincy of coun­try’s Un­der-19 team.

He led them to suc­cess in the Un­der-19 World Cup in New Zealand this year where they beat Aus­tralia in the fi­nal.

He has fea­tured for Delhi Dare­dev­ils in the 2018 IPL but it was his de­but Test ton, with 19 bound­aries, that saw the rest of the cricket world take no­tice.

“Wow, carry on young man good luck,” wrote for­mer Pak­istan fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar on Twit­ter.

For­mer Eng­land cap­tain Michael Vaughan tweeted: “Wow... 18 yrs old @PrithviShaw. 100 on Test de­but.. Looks like #In­dia have an­other su­per­star”.

(AFP)

In­dia’s Prithvi Shaw (sec­ond from right) takes part in a train­ing ses­sion ahead of the sec­ond Test against West Indies in Hyderabad, In­dia, on Wed­nes­day.

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