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VVS Laxman column: Shaw showed a maturity much beyond years

Hosts did well not to take their foot off the pedal

VVS Laxman, Special to Gulf News
17:01 October 7, 2018
Prithvi Shaw

On a very good track for batting, India must have been taken by surprise at how meekly the Windies capitulated in the first Test.

Virat Kohli’s men might have expected a stiff workout in Rajkot, but the Windies failed to put up a fight, surrendering tamely against the all-round might of the home side.

It’s not often that a Test hundred by Virat is overshadowed. As well as the captain played, his thunder was stolen by a teenaged debutant.

Prithvi Shaw is certainly cut out for bigger things. It was heart-warming to see him produce a spectacular century on debut.

The young man wasn’t overawed by the occasion or the stage, and played in much the same manner as he does in first-class cricket — with a dominant, attacking mindset.

His approach revolves around getting on top of the bowling and imposing himself and he played true to character. That he understands his game so well at such a tender age, and is also mature way beyond his years, indicate that he one for the long haul.

I was also delighted for Ravindra Jadeja. He has made massive scores in first class cricket, and chipped in with half-centuries at the international level. However, a maiden Test hundred does wonders for confidence like few other things do and that it came on his homeground must have made it doubly special for him. It has been a productive last couple of weeks for the all-rounder, and he will look to build on it as we head towards a busy, important next few months.

The sign of a top team is that it sticks to its gameplans, no matter the quality of the opposition. India didn’t take their foot off the pedal even though the Windies hardly pushed them, which is another excellent sign.

The fast bowlers were impressive in the first innings, and it was no surprise to see Ravi Ashwin and Jadeja get among the wickets even though there was no great help from the surface. It was Kuldeep Yadav, though, who walked away with the plaudits. He was a bit off-colour in the first innings, his confidence probably still a bit dented by the Lord’s Test. Credit to Virat for sticking with him in the first innings even when he was taking tap.

Kuldeep responded in the second innings with his first five-wicket haul, the equivalent of a century. I am sure this is the first of several to come.