Hyderabad, Prithvi Shaw, playing his maiden Test series, topped the run-scorers’ chart, and Umesh Yadav picked the most wickets as India swept the Windies 2-0.
Shaw, still only 18, opened the batting on debut in the first Test and scored 134, breaking many records along the way and ended up being the Player of the Match as India won by an innings and 272 runs.
On to Hyderabad for the second Test, and while Shaw did his burgeoning reputation no harm with 70 and 33 not out, Yadav was the standout performer, returning 6/88 and 4/45 to set up a 10-wicket win for India, an ICC report on Monday said.
Speaking on Yadav, who shouldered practically the entire fast-bowling responsibility once Shardul Thakur, the other paceman, limped off after bowling 10 deliveries in the first Windies innings, India captain Virat Kohli said, “Outstanding.
To bowl like that in both innings was a great effort on his part, and showed the kind of fitness level he has, to keep running in and bowling 140 clicks throughout the game … picking wickets, importantly, not just completing overs. “I think this was the standout performance in his career, and something he can build on,” he said
Yadav played just one Test in England as India went down 4-1 recently, but in Indian conditions, where he has often been preferred over others because of his pace and ability to generate reverse swing, he was back at his best.
“Not many people realise, but he’s a very, very talented bowler,” said Kohli. “He can bowl unplayable deliveries every now and then, which we experience in the nets all the time. He’ll bowl a ball that you’ll feel you couldn’t have done anything else apart from getting out.”
“He’s gaining more confidence about his own game, especially in Test cricket he’s come a long way. He understands his bowling really well,” India captain said.
But, while Yadav is a tried-and-tested, experience customer, Shaw and Rishabh Pant, the young wicket-keeper batsman, are new, raw, and needed to prove that they belong at the highest level.
Pant had already made a mark by scoring a century in the final Test in England, and followed it up with knocks of 92 and 92 in his two innings against the Windies. And Shaw has certainly made a case for himself when India travel to Australia later in the year.
“The youngsters, we were looking for them to play with a lot of freedom, which they did.Prithvi was outstanding.Rishabh was really fearless. Areas they need to work, they will obviously be spoken to in that regard. But overall both those guys were really, really good.
Solidifying their place in the team and understanding how to play at this level,” said Kohli. “I know the conditions might not be as challenging as they might get in future, but in Test cricket, the first and the most important thing is confidence and understanding that you can score runs at the Test level. From that point of view, I’m very happy that these guys have taken their chance so well,” he said.
Shaw, who led India to glory at the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2018 and has risen through the ranks at an astounding pace, got in ahead of Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan for the Windies Tests, with KL Rahul as his partner, and proved the selectors’ faith in him right.
“He looks like someone who can get you off to the kind of start that you require, especially to make the first mark in any series that you play,” gushed Kohli. “It’s great to have a guy who is so fearless, and he isn’t reckless, he’s very confident about his game.
“You might feel like he might nick off one now, but he hardly nicks the ball. And that we saw in England as well, when he was batting in the nets. He was attacking but he was in control throughout, which is a very rare quality against a new ball.
You know, to play so many shots and be in control of all of them. It’s a great sign. I don’t think any of us were even 10 per cent of what he is at 18-19. But he has to build on that,” Kohli added.