Prithvi Shaw showed promise, but we should give him time: Kapil Dev

Former Indian captain Kapil Dev believes that we should let Prithvi Shaw play and not drag him into any comparisons.

cricket Updated: Oct 11, 2018 19:27 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prithvi Shaw,India vs West Indies,Rajkot Test
Indian batsman Prithvi Shaw plays a shot on day one of the 1st Test match against West Indies, in Rajkot, Thursday, Oct 4, 2018. Shaw became the youngest Indian cricketer to score a century on Test debut. (PTI)

Indian cricket is in an exciting phase, there is young talent brimming all over the place and the future looks rather cosy. Prithvi Shaw, the 18-year old prodigy, gave a great account of himself in Rajkot. Not flustered by the occasion, he smashed a debut century which forced the cricketing world to sit up and take notice. And almost immediately, he started drawing comparisons with greats of the game.

However, former Indian captain Kapil Dev believes that we should let Prithvi Shaw play and not drag him into any comparisons.

“It is always wonderful to see young talent perform at the highest level. It gladdens your heart. The way Prithvi batted was brilliant, it was so good To see,” the legendary all-rounder told Hindustan Times.

Shaw, who has been compared with Sachin Tendulkar since his school days, went one ahead of the ‘little master’ by scoring a century on debut. He had earlier emulated Tendulkar’s record of scoring a ton on his Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy debut. But the 1983 World Cup winning captain does not want people to put pressure on the youngster.

“We should be careful and not put too much pressure on him. As far as I am concerned, comparisons should never be made. He has just started, played only one innings. We should give him time, say a couple of years, see how he progresses. But he looked very good, he showed promise and this was very good to see,” he added.

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Kapil, who is regarded as the finest fast bowler to have played for India, has seen Indian cricket from close range. He has seen numerous fast bowlers come to the fore and then fade away. However, this current crop of fast bowlers has got him really excited.

“I think they are brilliant, they are very good. Now we depend on the fast bowlers, they can win matches for us. Previously we all depended on spinners, and although we have the best spinners right now also, but it is great to see the fast bowlers coming and contributing to the wins,” the World Cup winning captain said.

There has been a lot of talk over the performance of R Ashwin and his impact in overseas conditions. He started the England tour with a bang in Edgbaston, but then faded away. He was out bowled by Moeen Ali in Southampton when the conditions were ripe for spinners and faced a lot of flak for his performance. However, Kapil Dev still believes he is the best spinner in the world at the moment.

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“Look his records speak volumes about his ability. If a batsman fails in one innings, it does not make him a bad player. Take for example Virat Kohli, before this series everyone was saying he was not good because he could not get runs in England. Was that a correct observation? I don’t think so. There have been so many great players who have struggled to get runs in India, does that mean they are not good enough?” Kapil added.

Despite conceding the series 1-4 to England, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri had said that this was the best team to travel overseas. Kapil Dev believes that it was his personal opinion and that he has nothing to add to it.

“Every cricketer has his opinion, what else can I add? This team has to find ways to win matches and it can be successful overseas too, that’s all I can say,” Kapil said.

Speaking about his recent sojourn into Golf, the former Indian captain said that he enjoys playing the game because of the lovely surroundings and the great ambiance. He has been a big advocate of a golf league on the lines of the Indian Premier League and believes that it can only help young players take up the sport.

“I just want to play, any league would generate interest and it would help younger players to take up the sport. I am not a professional, I do not take money to play the game, I play it because I enjoy the sport,” Kapil said.

First Published: Oct 11, 2018 18:52 IST