Team India captain Virat Kohli on Thursday asked people to stop comparing the 18-year-old batting sensation Prithvi Shaw to the likes of Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. While addressing media on the eve of the second Test between India and West Indies, Kohli said that Shaw should be given space to grow. “I don’t think he should be rushed into anything yet because you need to give a youngster a space to grow, in his own abilities. This guy is supremely talented and he has got great ability as everyone saw,” the skipper said at the pre-match press conference.
The Indian skipper added that Prithvi Shaw should be allowed to enjoy his cricket and should not be put under any kind of pressure. Kohli said the management believes that Shaw has it in him to play at the highest level and can repeat what he did in the first Test.
“We shouldn’t compare him to anyone yet. We shouldn’t put him in a space where he feels pressure of any kind and he should be left in a space where he enjoys his cricket and slowly grows into a player we all believe in,” the Indian skipper added.
The former India U-19 captain made a sensation debut against West Indies in Rajkot last year by smashing a century. Shaw scored 134 off 154 balls and was named man of the match for his superb knock.
Kohli, who scored his 24th Test ton in the first Test, agreed that tournaments like the IPL, the A tours and live coverage of the U-19 tournaments put the youngsters under instant spotlight which makes them more equipped to handle pressure situations. “Definitely it could be one of the reasons (early exposure) because they are already exposed to the environment that the international game would replicate. But there’s always pressure of playing for the country,” he said.
India will take on West Indies in the second Test in Hyderabad. This would be team India’s last Test before next month’s series against Australia.