Why has Prithvi Shaw been chosen for the first Test ahead of Mayank Agarwal?
It is a rare thing for the Indian Team management to announce the shortlisted squad prior to the match day but surprisingly, BCCI announced the 12-member squad for the first Test against Windies. It confirmed that Prithvi Shaw is making his Test debut as he has been chosen to open the innings with KL Rahul ahead of the man with a Bradman-esque average Mayank Agarwal.
It joins the list of debatable team selections made by the coach-captain duo of Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli. Why Shaw is considered the first-choice opener ahead of Mayank is a question which can not be neglected as Mayank has the numbers on his side.
Mayank Agarwal topped the batting charts in Ranji Trophy with 1160 runs to his name which included a unique record of scoring 1000 first-class runs within a month. He continued the good run of form in One-Day format as well, scoring 723 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. Mayank scored tons of runs in List-A games as well, proving that it was not about form but class. He scored well even after selectors neglected him for the England Tour, which exemplifies his mental strength.
Prithvi also scored consistently for Mumbai across formats and did well in his debut IPL season as well. But in Prithvi's case, nobody is sure whether he is a one season wonder or not as his career in the top level is still young. Agarwal has more experience to back his performances and talking about the last innings both of them played, which was Windies' practice game against the Board President XI, Mayank Agarwal scored 90 and Prithvi Shaw failed to impress with a score of 8.
If Prithvi is given a game ahead of a seasoned professional like Mayank Agarwal, then what's the point in grinding it out in the Ranji Trophy and other domestic tournaments for several years?
Mayank will likely get his chance in the second Test but what happens if Prithvi plays well in the first game which is the most probable outcome against a toothless Windies attack? That is the question which will be revolving in Mayank and cricket followers' heads in the coming days.