Teenage batting prospect Prithvi Shaw struck a breezy century on debut to put hosts India on course for a big first innings total in the opening test against West Indies at Rajkot on Thursday, reports Reuters.
After captain Virat Kohli had won the toss and opted to bat, India made the most of a docile pitch and a toothless West Indies attack to reach 232 for three at tea.
Shaw, 18, was out for 134 off 154 balls and added 206 for the second wicket with Cheteshwar Pujara, who made 86, before both batsmen fell in the second session. At the end of day’s play, India scored 364/4. Skipper Kohli is unbeaten on 72, accompanied by Rishab Pant;.
With India opting for three frontline spinners, West Indies’ stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite will be aware that his side face a stiff task of having to bat last on a pitch already offering some turn for the slow bowlers.
West Indies, already without Kemar Roach after the pace spearhead returned home due to a family bereavement, suffered a further setback when captain Jason Holder was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Shannon Gabriel provided some early cheer for the tourists, however, when he sent back Lokesh Rahul leg before without scoring in the first over of the day, but that proved to be the sole success for the Caribbean side in the first session.
The depleted West Indies attack did not have enough teeth to trouble Shaw and Pujara as they plundered runs at will after Rahul’s departure.
Shaw scored his first runs with a punch off the back foot through covers off his second delivery, making it evident why he has already been tipped for a bright future in national colours.
Often a tad flashy with his shot selection, Shaw was fluent on both sides of the wicket and hit 19 boundaries in his maiden test knock.
He drove paceman Keemo Paul on the up through covers to reach triple figures off 99 balls, becoming the fourth youngest to score a hundred on debut.
Shaw’s innings came to a tame end when he offered a simple return catch to leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo in the last over before the tea break.
Pujara, playing on his home ground, was typically solid at the other end, waiting patiently for loose deliveries to pick up boundaries. He edged behind to become debutant fast bowler Sherman Lewis’s maiden test wicket.

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