Prithvi Shaw will make his test debut in Rajkot on Thursday. Breaking with the tradition of not speaking of selection before the Test, India appointed a XII for the Test of opening against the West Indies with a day in advance. They returned to play with five batters and an archer after the aberration in the fifth test of the last series when they called Hanuma Vihari to reinforce the batting.
The only selection option to be made the morning of the test will be between a third spinner, Kuldeep Yadav, and a third fast bowler. If India goes with a fast extra, it will deliver another debut, this time to Shardul Thakur. While Thakur could spend a night of uncertainty, Shaw will sleep knowing that he will become the number 293 test cricketer in India.
Shaw, 18, has been assigned great things since he was a prodigious Mumbai maidans runner. He captained India in the U-19 World Cup, and started his first race with a hundred in the fourth inning of the Ranji Trophy semifinal last year. He has played only 14 first class games, but that has been enough for the selectors to recognize that he is ready for the test cricket. He has scored 1418 runs at an average of 56.72. And it has done so in a dominant manner, reaching a strike rate of 76.69.
This means that another prolific national runner, Mayank Agarwal, will have to wait for his moment. Shaw overtook Agarwal in the queue when he was selected for the last two Tests of the England tour. Now, with Shikhar Dhawan down, Shaw received the debut ahead of Agarwal.
ESPN Sports Media Ltd.