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India teen Shaw scores century on test debut vs West Indies

October 4, 2018
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India's cricketer Prithvi Shaw celebrates his century during the first day of the first cricket test match between India and West Indies in Rajkot, India, Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

RAJKOT, India (AP) — Prithvi Shaw became the fourth youngest debutant to score a test cricket century as India walloped the West Indies to be 364-4 on day one of the series on Thursday.

Opening for India, the 18-year-old Shaw scored 134 off 154 balls, hitting 19 boundaries.

Chesteshwar Pujara added 86 and captain Virat Kohli was 71 not out, as India notched its highest test total in a day’s play against the West Indies.

“I was a bit nervous to start off but when I got in, I got comfortable,” Shaw said.

“I just tried to play my natural game. I have played a lot of cricket since a smaller age. I used to play 30-35 school games in a year, and played a lot of (first-class) Ranji (Trophy) cricket as well. So I was just thinking it is only another game for me.”

The stage was ideal for Shaw.

Rajkot was where he made a century on debut in the Ranji Trophy. And the West Indies attack was depleted. Kemar Roach returned home for the funeral of his grandmother, and captain Jason Holder withdrew because of an ankle injury.

India opener Lokesh Rahul was out in the first over for a duck, but Shaw and Pujara cruised, putting on 206 runs together.

Shaw reached his fifty off 56 balls, and Pujara scored his 19th test half-century off 67 balls as the duo scored at 5.32 runs per over in the morning session.

West Indies improved its lines post lunch, but it didn’t hamper Shaw, who reached his century off 99 balls, the third quickest on debut in test history.

He became the second youngest Indian to score a maiden hundred after Sachin Tendulkar (17 years, 112 days) in 1990 against England. Overall, he’s the seventh youngest batsman in test cricket to achieve this feat.

His immediate success in the test arena justified the selectors’ move to build for the future. India regular test openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay were dropped after poor form during the recent tour of England.

Shaw earned a reputation as a batting prodigy. He scored 546 runs in a school game in 2013, and captained India to the Under-19 World Cup title in January in New Zealand. Delhi Daredevils signed him for $187,500 for the Indian Premier League.

“I was thinking about my father (after reaching the hundred),” he said. “He has sacrificed a lot for me. This first century is all for him. I wanted to make this opportunity count. The wicket was good and I should have kept batting. I needed to be more careful as there were only 10 minutes left before tea.”

He was out trying to drive legspinner Devendra Bishoo but only chipping straight back to the bowler.

Meanwhile, Pujara poked at a wide ball and fell for 86 off 130 balls, giving fast bowler Sherman Lewis his first test wicket.

In the final session, Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane added 105 runs for the fourth wicket.

Kohli reached his 20th test half-century off 100 balls. Overall, he faced 137 balls and hit only four boundaries, not the most fluent knock by the world’s No. 1-ranked test batsman.

Rahane, too, lacked the ease with which Shaw batted earlier in the day, and fell on 41 to Roston Chase in the last hour.

Kohli and Pant, 19 not out, handled the attack to stumps on day one of the first test.

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