England v India 2018: Why India should not present the debut cap to Prithvi Shaw in the England series
Mumbai’s long history of producing world-class batsmen is a well-known fact among the cricketing fraternity. The latest entrant in that list is the 18-year old Prithvi Shaw.
The right-handed batsman from Mumbai came into the limelight when he scored a mammoth 546 runs from 330 balls for Rizvi Springfield in a Harris Shield match in 2013. Since then, he has never looked back. He made headlines with his every knock from there on.
Century in Ranji Trophy, century in Duleep Trophy, century for India A, 50+ scores in IPL, U19 World Cup winner with valuable knocks and India (senior team) call up. So far, Shaw has achieved everything within a short span of time. The only thing left for the 18-year young lad is to debut for the senior India team.
Shaw's inclusion in the Indian Test squad for the final two Tests against England raised a question in the minds of every Indian cricket fan – Will Shaw make his senior team debut in the Test series? His string of consistent performances supports his inclusion in the playing XI.
However, is this the right time for India to unleash Shaw in the International arena? India can take a leaf out of South Africa’s recent history to answer this question.
Like Shaw, Aiden Markram is another young prodigy from the Proteas. Under his captaincy, South Africa won the 2014 ICC U19 World Cup. He knocked the doors of selectors with his continuous run of great knocks.
Everyone knew that his senior team debut was just around the corner. At that time, South Africa was scheduled to tour England. It was a long tour comprising of 3 ODIs, 4 Tests, and 3 T20Is.
England is always a tough team to defeat at their home. Therefore, the selectors decided not to hand debut for Markram against the Englishmen in those swing-favoring conditions. Instead, Heino Kuhn was given debut. As expected, Kuhn failed to replicate his domestic performance in the International arena. After a string of poor scores, he was dropped from the team in the following home series against Bangladesh.
The man who replaced Kuhn in that Bangladesh series was none other than Markram. Everything went as per the selector’s plan, as Aiden Markram delivered at the big stage. He was excellent in the entire home summer with impressive knocks against Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Australia, and India.
Now, India can follow the same. With England eyeing revenge in the remaining games, it is not wise for India to unleash Shaw in the Test series. Yes, there is a possibility of Shaw passing his ‘baptism’ with excellence. On the other side, a failure in those alien conditions against Anderson & Co can affect the young lad mentally. Since, at a young age, a player has to be in a proper mental space.
Instead, Shaw can make his debut in the forthcoming Asia Cup or the home series against West Indies. More than the Asia Cup, West Indies series will be the right choice for the Mumbai lad. A good outing against West Indies will ensure that the youngster is in proper mental space with a handful of International experiences ahead of the much-awaited Australia tour.