New Delhi: Prithvi Shaw will be handed the India Test cap on the morning of October 4 at Rajkot prior to the opening Test against West Indies. BCCI on Wednesday confirmed a 12-man squad for the opening Test of the two-match series. Shaw will become the 293rd player to wear the India Test cap. Virat Kohli will lead the side having been rested for the Asia Cup ODI tournament in the UAE – which India won by beating Bangladesh in the final.
In the 12-player squad, there is no space for Mayank Agarwal or Hanuma Vihari – who had played against England and picked up three wickets. The decision will come down to whether the team management goes for three spinners – R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav or three seamers – Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur for a six batsman and five bowler combination. Should the choice be in favour of another seamer, Shardul will be recepient of the Test cap as well.
The Mumbaikar Shaw came ahead of Agarwal in the queue when he was selected for the last two Tests on the tour of England. Now with Shikhar Dhawan dropped, Shaw has been given the debut ahead of Agarwal.
Shaw, 18, has scored 1,418 runs in 14 First-Class matches at an impressive average of 56.72. Shaw has seven centuries and five fifties to his name with a high score of 188 runs against West Indies for India A. And he has done so in an attacking fashion while going at a strike rate of 76.69.
Vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said he wanted Shaw to play his natural attacking game for the upcoming series. “I’m definitely happy for him. I’ve been following him since his young days for Mumbai, we practised together. He’s an attacking opening batsman. He’s been doing so well for Mumbai, India A on a consistent basis, so that’s the reward he got. I’m sure he’ll do well,” Rahane said.
“I wish him good luck and I am sure he will do well. I just want him to play as he has been doing for Mumbai and India A and I think he will be fine,” Rahane added.
India 12-man squad for 1st Test: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Prithvi Shaw (debut), Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur.