Prithvi Shaw becomes youngest Indian to hit century on Test debut
Prithvi Shaw became the 15th Indian to score century on debut. (AFP image)

Indian cricket’s latest entrant, Prithvi Shaw struck a hundred to become the youngest Indian to score a century on Test debut – 18 years and 329 days. Shaw scored his maiden hundred off 98 deliveries with 15 fours, shortly after lunch on the opening day of the first Test between India and West Indies in Rajkot. The feat also made Shaw the 15th Indian to register a century on debut. Rohit Sharma was the last to do so, also against the West Indies in 2013.

After Sachin Tendulkar’s debut in 1989, Shaw is the first Indian specialist batsman to have been given a Test debut at such a young age. Harbhajan Singh was 18, Piyush Chawla and Parthiv Patel 17 and Ishant Sharma 19 when they played their maiden Tests, but none was a batsman in particular.

Shaw batted with the assurance of a seasoned pro to turn a scoreline of 3/1 following the loss of KL Rahul for a duck in the opening over into a dominant one, while producing numerous shots that dripped with the memories of the man he has often been compared with – the great Tendulkar. That’s not all. At the age of 17, Shaw became the youngest player to score a century on Duleep Trophy and Ranji Trophy debut, a record previously held by Tendulkar.

Shaw’s first runs in Test cricket came with a delicate push into the covers for three, his first boundary a cracking slap past point of Keemo Paul. In Paul’s second over, Shaw unfurled three boundaries: a stunning flick off the pads, a glance to fine leg and a slash over the slips. Each shot had the Tendulkar stamp, and in no time Shaw was 22 off 16 balls.

After a period of singles, Shaw moved from 34 to 42 in the span of three balls, with two boundaries off Paul in the pacer’s second spell, each with sparkling timing. His fifty came up off his 56th ball faced, a straight drive off Roston Chase being received by loving cheer from the few spectators gathered at the venue. In Chase’s next over, Shaw put away a half-tracker and a floated-up delivery to the extra cover boundary in succession, and with growing disdain.

List of Indian cricketers to score a century on debut

S. No. Players Opposition Score
1 Lala Amarnath (1933) England 118
2 Deepak Shodhan (1952) Pakistan 110
3 AG Kripal Singh (1955) New Zealand 100*
4 Abbas Ali Baig (1959) England 112
5 Hanumant Singh (1964) England 105
6 Gundappa Viswanath (1969) Australia 137
7 Surinder Amarnath (1976) New Zealand 124
8 Mohammad Azharuddin (1984) England 110
9 Pravin Amre (1992) South Africa 103
10 Sourav Ganguly (1996) England 131
11 Virender Sehwag (2001) South Africa 105
12 Suresh Raina (2010) Sri Lanka 120
13 Shikhar Dhawan (2013) Australia 187
14 Rohit Sharma (2013) West Indies 177
15 Prithvi Shaw (2018) West Indies Batting