MUMBAI: Teenage batting prospect Prithvi Shaw struck a breezy century on debut to put hosts India on course for a big first innings total in the opening test against West Indies at Rajkot on Thursday.
Number three batsman Cheteshwar Pujara was scored 86 with the 18-year-old Shaw 134 off 154 balls as India reached 232 for three post tea after captain Virat Kohli had won the toss and opted to bat.
West Indies, already without Kemar Roach after the pace spearhead returned home due to a family bereavement, suffered a further setback when captain Jason Holder was ruled out with an ankle injury.
Shannon Gabriel provided some early cheer for the tourists, however, when he sent back Lokesh Rahul leg before without scoring in the first over of the day, but that proved to be the sole success for the Caribbean side in the first session.
The depleted West Indies attack did not have enough teeth to trouble Shaw and Pujara as they plundered runs at will, having added 130 runs for their unbroken second-wicket stand.
Shaw scored his first runs with a punch off the back foot through covers off his second delivery, making it evident why he has already been tipped for a bright future in national colours.
Often a tad flashy with his shot selection, Shaw was fluent on both sides of the wicket and has hit 11 boundaries in his maiden test knock.
Pujara, playing on his home ground, was typically solid at the other end, patiently waiting for loose deliveries to pick up boundaries.
With India opting for three frontline spinners, West Indies’ stand-in captain Kraigg Brathwaite will be aware that his side face a stiff task of having to bat last in a match in which the tourists handed a debut to fast bowler Sherman Lewis.
The second test of the two-match series is in Hyderabad from October 12-16