Young Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal did not bat at the nets on Wednesday morning during the Indian team's practice session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
That led to speculations on who would be handed the Test cap on Thursday — will it be Shaw or Agarwal? The suspense, however, was soon over as the Indian team management, in a decision deviating from tradition, named a XII for the first Test against the West Indies, starting on Thursday. And the list did feature Shaw, all set to make his debut.
Starting from this series, the Indian team management has decided to announce a XII on the eve of every fixture. It is a move to ensure that there aren’t any speculations over the final team.
Read: The blossoming of the young Prithvi Shaw
Shaw, who has been one of the consistent performers in the domestic circuit, will walk out to open the innings with K.L. Rahul, while Hanuma Vihari, who scored a fifty in the fifth Test against England has been left out.
The list also features Shardul Thakur. However, the Rajkot track will play a part on his selection in the playing XI. On the morning of the Test match, the selection dilemma would be between picking a pacer or spinner and Thakur would become the second debutant if India decides to play a seamer.
The Indian captain, Virat Kohli is excited of having three talented youngsters (Shaw, Mayank Agarwal and Hanuma Vihari) in the squad.
“Everyone wants to play for the country and its good to see that all these guys are not just performing in the IPL, but they are also taking domestic cricket very seriously. Someone like Vihari, Prithvi or Mayank have been brought in because of what they have done in the domestic circuit consistently. It is an exciting opportunity for them and something they should look at as an opportunity and not think as a pressure,” Kohli said.
Making it clear that these players will be taking Indian cricket forward, Kohli said: “They are very young, and it is a great chance for them to cement their place. They need to play for a long time. It is heartening to see, especially in four-day cricket, that so many guys keep scoring so many runs, apart from playing IPL.
Also read: The Englishman who noticed India's 'Shaw' stopper
"It is a healthy sign that will always keep Indian cricket in a good space. These guys will definitely take the responsibility tomorrow and will take Indian cricket forward. That’s something you would always want to see — the youngsters with passion. The ones who have come in definitely have that (in them),” the captain said.
From leading India to U-19 World Cup win to making a Test debut for India — this has been a fantastic year for Shaw, and the 18-year-old will be hoping to make the debut even more special when he takes the field on Thursday.
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