Prithvi Shaw became the youngest Indian and fourth overall to score a Test century on debut as India cruised to 232 for three against West Indies at tea on day one of the series opener at Rajkot. At 18 years and 329 days, Shaw (134 off 154) reached the milestone off just 99 balls, adding to a host of records he holds in his blossoming career. He had earlier made waves by reaching three figures in his first Ranji Trophy appearance and was the youngest to hit a century on Duleep Trophy debut.
He did not any show nerves of a debutant and made short work of the listless West Indies attack alongside Cheteshwar Pujara (86) as the two shared a 206-run stand after the early fall of K L Rahul (0).
ALSO READ: India vs West Indies 1st Test. Day 1 LIVE
India, who had scored more than five runs an over in the morning, made 99 runs at 3.81 in the afternoon session with the loss of Pujara and Shaw.
Shaw, who was 75 not out at lunch, reached the three figures with a typical punch to the cover, the same way he got his first runs in international cricket.
In the process, Shaw also became the second youngest Indian to score a maiden Test ton after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.
More than half of his runs came through boundaries, 19 in total. Unfortunately, Shaw fell at the stroke of tea, in what was a soft dismissal as he chipped one straight into the hands of leggie Devendra Bishoo.
Skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were in the middle when tea was taken.
Shaw was not facing one of the best attacks but he gave ample evidence of his brilliance on way to a memorable hundred. Pujara too looked at ease at the other end until he was caught behind off debutant Sherman Lewis, missing out on a 16th Test ton.
In the morning, Shaw, who became the 293rd cricketer to represent India in Tests, showed supreme confidence from ball one, on which he offered a watchful leave.
The Mumbaikar punched the second ball he faced towards the cover boundary for a three, his first runs in international cricket, easing whatever nerves left inside.
Pacer Shanon Gabriel was clocking in the higher 140kph but that did not faze Shaw. Gabriel trapped his opening partner K L Rahul in front with a sharp incoming delivery to give the West Indies an early breakthrough. Rahul was better off not taking the DRS as the ball was clearly crashing into the stumps.
Shaw, however, continued batting with confidence and his first boundary came in the second over bowled by Keemo Paul, another back foot punch towards the point boundary.
He got more aggressive in Paul’s following over, hitting him for three fours as the pacer was duly punished for bowling far too many looseners.
The wicket wore a greenish look but the ball was not doing much after Gabriel’s initial burst.
After Rahul’s dismissal, Shaw and Pujara gave the innings a move on and did not look in any sort of trouble.
Apart from Gabriel, the West Indies attack lacked teeth and Shaw capitalised on that.
While he punched and drove effortlessly off pacers, he was equally comfortable against the spin duo of Bishoo and Roston Chase.
The teenage prodigy collected two fours off Bishoo in the 11th over and did the same to Chase in the 20th over. He also produced a delightful straight drive on way to reaching his half-century which came off 56 balls. A little later, Pujara too got to his half century, off 67 balls, with a straight drive off debutant Lewis.
The West Indians looked listless on the field as boundaries came at will for India. The visitors were dealt a severe blow even before the start of the game with their captain Jason Holder pulling out with an ankle injury. Kraigg Brathwaite is captaining the side in Holder’s absence.
Their lead pacer, Kemar Roach, is also not playing the series opener due to a bereavement in the family.