top-level success is key: Aakash Chopra
RAJKOT: Prithvi Shaw lived up to expectations with a classy Test century on his India debut, but former players feel the teenage sensation should tighten up his technique for tougher challenges away from home and that his past achievements count for nothing at the highest level.
Shaw batted like a seasoned pro to hit a sublime hundred in the series opener against the West Indies, becoming the youngest Indian to reach three-figure score on Test debut. He did not face the best of attacks, but it was still a special knock that promises a great career.
“You may want to tighten up a bit but radical changes in your techniques are not advisable,” said former India opener Aakash Chopra about Shaw. “He has got to be a little careful off the back foot. The punches that he likes to hit could be slightly risky if the ball is moving laterally. We will have to assume that he will learn with time. What he has done in the past counts for nothing. He will eventually be judged by what he does at the highest level.”
Shaw’s punches off the back foot reminded former West Indies all-rounder Carl Hooper of the good old Caribbean flair; but he feels Shaw’s aggressive style with the existing technique makes the 18-year-old vulnerable for sterner tests overseas, starting with the tour of Australia next month.
“He seems to be a great talent but tends to play away from the body. Clearly, he likes to be on the back foot and play square off the wicket. It worked here (in Rajkot) but with so much gap between the bat and body, he could face issues in England and Australia,” Hooper, a veteran of 102 Tests, said.
Chopra, however, felt nothing can be taken away from Shaw in his debut century, albeit it came against a pedestrian West Indies attack on a batting-friendly track in Rajkot.
“What we have just seen is perhaps a trailer of the things to come. It looks very promising. You cannot grudge about the opposition and pitch was flat. But he will be tested (overseas) and I am sure he is aware of it. We will get to know whether he can weather the storm and what all he needs to do,” said Chopra, who played 10 Tests for India.
“Currently, there are a couple of things. I am pretty sure he is working on that. One was his trigger movement, which is already looking different to (what) we saw in the IPL. I am not too worried. He has got a great start,” Chopra said.“People will have faith and he will get a slightly extended run. God forbid even if Australia does not end up being the best of tours for him, you have to bear in mind that lot of players went there the first time and did not really set the world on fire.”
He said Shaw might have to curb his aggression a bit while facing the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.