Indian cricket has witnessed the rise of Prithvi Shaw slowly and steadily. He is undoubtedly one of the most sensational teenage cricketers Indian cricket has ever produced. But he is certainly not the only one! There have been many since ages. Let’s have a look at the five top teen cricket sensations of Indian Cricket.
From very young age Prithvi shaw was in the news of Indian cricket circuit due to his innings of 546 runs in a Harris Shield Elite division match for his school Rizvi Springfield High School. It was 2013, and in last five years, Prithvi has made a steady journey towards the coveted India Test cap. After proving his metal in various age group tournaments he wrote his names in the record book in the 2017-2018 season by registering hundreds in both his Ranji and Duleep Trophy debuts. In early 2018 he led India under-19 team to their 4th World Cup, arguably the most dominating of the four.
Consistent performances took Shaw closer to India cap when he was included in the squad midway of the Test series against England. He finally made his debut against West Indies in Rajkot and celebrated the occasion with a brilliant attacking century and became the youngest batsman (18 years 329 days) to make a Test century on debut for India. He played two more useful innings in the second Test and ended the series with a Man of the Series award and a Test average of 118.5.
Parthiv Patel became the youngest ever Test wicketkeeper at the age of 17 years and 153 days when he made his debut against England. It was a golden opportunity for Parthiv for lack of suitable wicket keeping options for India. After trying few like Sameer Dighe and Ajay Ratra, it was Parthiv who made it to the national side. Unfortunately, Parthiv failed to impress in the few chances he got. He was selected in the Indian team for 2003 world cup but didn’t play any match. Rahul Dravid was preferred as the Wicketkeeper in One day team and his poor wicket keeping made him lose his place in Test matches. Meanwhile, by the time he could make a strong comeback, Dinesh Karthik and MS Dhoni entered to steal the show.
He continued his domestic cricket career for Gujrat and also played in IPL. With a decent domestic cricket career and consistency, he got calls from international side time to time as a replacement. Thus Parthiv has an irregular career with gaps in between. In 2016 when Wriddhiman Saha got a strain, Parthiv was called up and ended up playing a Test match after missing 83 Test matches.
At an age of 16 years and 205 days, Sachin Tendulkar made his debut in Karachi against Pakistan in 1989. Thus he became the youngest Indian to play Test cricket. During his debut Test, he was hit by Waqar Younis on the nose but continued to bat bravely. His first Test hundred came at the age of 17 that literally saved Old Trafford Test. In 2000 he became the first batsman in the history to score 50 international hundreds.
Don Bradman was elated to compare himself with this right-handed Indian sensation. At the time of retirement, Tendulkar got 15,921 Test runs, 18,426 One day runs with 51 Test and 49 One day centuries. He continued to prove his worth till the end of his career. At the age of 36, he became the first male cricketer to score a double hundred in One-day internationals. He played his last and 200th Test in 2013 and ended a golden era of cricket.
Laxman Shivaramakrishnan is arguably the most sensational debutant of Indian cricket. He became a sensation overnight when he took 7 for 28 in his Ranji Trophy debut against Delhi in 1981. No wonder he was selected for the national team in no time for Pakistan tour of 1982. He played his first Test match at the age of 17 years and 118 days against West Indies. In 1984 he took 12 for 181 against England which leads to an Indian victory. He took 23 wickets in that series to be recognized as the man of the series. He made a significant contribution in India’s triumph in World Championship in Australia in 1985.
He was expected to create magic with his leg spin and win matches for India amidst all kinds of odds and obstacles. But the reality turned out to be different and bitter as the young lad lost his grip and control. He did almost nothing in upcoming series and lost all the glory he earned. He made a comeback in 1987 world cup squad but failed to do well. Tamil Nadu state team also dropped him after their Ranji trophy victory in 1987. The ‘boy wizard’ was desperate to try his luck again and again; unfortunately, he could not recreate the magic ever that he is remembered for.
Vijay Mehra is probably the least significant name in this league if we compare with numbers. But he began as the fifth youngest Test debutant in the history of cricket; and the youngest Indian Test cricketer in 1955. At the age of 17 years 265 days Vijay made his debut against New Zealand in Bombay. He couldn’t impress much in initial days and was dropped from the side. He got his Test cap after playing only 6 first-class matches. It was probably too early to bring him to the international scene. After six years he made a comeback in Calcutta against England in 1961 and scored 62 before he injured himself. After a decent comeback against England, he was called for West Indies tour as well. After two years Vijay Mehra was recalled but ended his career with poor performance.
Let’s not forget some of the big teenage sensations of Indian cricket like Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Maninder Singh and Chethan Sharma who all made their debut in their teens with varying level of success.