Prithvi Shaw, India’s 18-year-old opening batsman, will make his Test debut in the first Test against West Indies in Rajkot.
Shaw has been named in a 12-man squad and is sure to feature in the encounter, as he is listed as one of the five batsmen India will field on Thursday. His inclusion has been earned on the back of a stellar run on the domestic first-class scene and India A. He captained India in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year.
Shaw averages 56.72 in first-class cricket, having already accumulated seven centuries and five half-centuries in his short 14-match career. He was included in the India squad as a replacement for the struggling Murali Vijay for the final two Tests against England in the recently-concluded series, but wasn’t given his opportunity with India preferring the experience of KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan in the opening-batsmen roles.
India’s out-of-the-norm early announcement of a shortlisted squad also confirmed that Haruma Vihari, who made an impressive debut with both bat and ball in the final Test in England, and Mayank Agarwal will not feature in the upcoming encounter. Rishab Pant will keep his place in the team, as he continues keeping wicket in place of the out-of-form Dinesh Karthik.
India captain Virat Kohli shared his excitement over the rising young Indian talents that are forcing their way into the international side, stating: ‘It’s heartening to see, especially in four-day cricket, so many guys scoring heaps of runs and continuously doing that, apart from also playing IPL.
‘I think it’s a very healthy sign and something that will always keep Indian cricket in a good space, these guys will definitely take the responsibility tomorrow to take Indian cricket forward and that’s something you always want to see, that youngsters with passion and hunger should come in, and the ones that have come in have definitely have that in abundance.’
Squad: Virat Kohli (captain), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Shardul Thakur.