Kohli shields India’s ‘boy wonder’ from Tendulkar shadow

Sun Online Desk

11th October, 2018 03:36:11 printer

Kohli shields India’s ‘boy wonder’ from Tendulkar shadow

Virat Kohli sought to protect prolific teenager Prithvi Shaw from the weight of comparisons with India legend Sachin Tendulkar after the young batsman's Test debut century last week.


Another century in the second match against the West Indies which begins on Friday in Hyderabad would see Shaw join a small group of greats including Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly and Rohit Sharma who all hit tons in their first two Tests.


The 18 year old became India's youngest player to score a debut century and his country's second youngest in all Tests after Tendulkar, who was 17 when he made an unbeaten 119 against England in his ninth Test.


Shaw's sparkling 134 in the first Test rout in Rajkot had some commentators dubbing him India's "boy wonder" ahead of the tour of Australia next month.


But captain Kohli warned India's notoriously demanding fans not to expect too much too soon from Shaw, who was earmarked as a future star when as a 14 year old he hit a record 546 off 330 balls in a Mumbai school game in 2013.


"We are all very happy for him but I don't think we should compare him to anyone yet or we should put him in a space where he starts feeling pressure," Kohli told reporters in Hyderabad on Thursday.


"He should be left to enjoy his cricket and slowly grow into the cricketer that we all believe he can be," said Kohli who hailed the diminutive right hander as "supremely talented".


"He has shown that in the first Test already and we believe he can keep repeating that because he is a very keen learner, he is a very sharp guy and he understands situations really well."


Kohli said Shaw, 21-year-old wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant and batsman Hanuma Vihari, 24, had learned to handle the stress of top competition by playing in the Indian Premier League.


Source: AFP