Mumbai has been producing some of the finest cricketers for a long time. Prithvi Shaw is the latest Mumbaikar to get heads turning, and explicitly not the last. Prithvi got the cricket fanatics' eye with his batting performances in the Harris Shield tournament.
Although a local tournament, Harris Shield has been bringing forth many players for the Mumbai team. Shaw, merely a 14-year old then, scored a marvelous 546 runs playing for Rizvi Springfield against the St. Francis.
His innings at the Azad Maidan lasted over 367 minutes and included 85 fours and 5 sixes. This score of 546, was India's then highest individual score in any minor cricket. Since then, he was watched closely by the cricket circuit as the next big thing in Indian cricket. He certainly didn't disappoint. Scoring abundant runs in school cricket, he made his way through the junior cricket at a very young age.
Prithvi's father Pankaj Shaw realized at the very early that his son was a rare talent. He thus, moved to Mumbai giving up his business in 2006, just to see his son getting enough chances in cricket. Prithvi's mother passed away in his childhood. At the age of 11, his talent was recognized by a former Mumbai player, who helped him grabbed a contract.
He was rewarded for his performance as he was invited to play in the school circuit in England. He spent over 2 months in the English conditions and knocked over 1400 runs. He was taking his game a level high each day. He has a god-gifted timing and a very strong bottom hand. He preferred flicks over any other shot and could smear a flick on any line. Looking at his talent, Sachin Tendulkar once told him,
" If anyone tells you to change your stance or your batting technique, just ask him to meet me first."
He replicated his school performances at a higher level, scoring centuries on debut in Ranji trophy as well as Duleep trophy, a feat achieved only by Sachin Tendulkar. He started drawing the attention of higher magnitudes. He continued with his heroics in the first class level as well. In Jan 2018, Shaw was named as the captain for Indian U-19 team in the Junior World Cup. The team was under the keen inspection of Rahul Dravid, one of the greatest disciples of the game. Shaw contributed beautifully with the bat and helped India clinch its 4th title. He scored 265 runs with an average of 65 and 2 fifties under his name. The comparisons with the Indian skipper Virat Kohli were growing day by day.
In the 2018 edition of IPL, Shaw was signed by the Daredevils for an amount of 1.2 Crore. He played some fearless cricket, scoring 245 runs in 9 innings with a strike rate of 155. He scored runs all around the ground and punished the likes of Johnson, especially in the Powerplay.
After a brilliant tour of England, for India-A, Shaw earned his maiden call for the national side as he was named a replacement for Murali Vijay in the final two Tests against England. However, he could not make the final XI, but he grabbed the eyes of the management in the nets. In turn, he received the Test cap against the Windies in the first Test. He grabbed this opportunity and scored a gritty knock of 134, completing his century in just 99 balls.
He has shown an unprecedented hunger for runs and has immense potential and a strong mental play. He is considered as the next big thing in Indian cricket after Virat Kohli. The thing to be noted is that Kohli came into cricket when Sachin was in his final days of cricket, while Shaw has to make it through when Virat is in the prime of his career. With a right path, strong mentality and proper guidance, he can become a batting sensation and make the world admire his batting in the coming years.