Trent Boult – I couldn’t believe it when I heard Prithvi Shaw was 17

New Zealand speedster Trent Boult was left stunned by 17 year old Prithvi Shaw’s ability, after watching him play for Board President’s XI in the first warm-up game of the Black Caps’ tour of India.

Shaw, who is a right-handed batsman from Mumbai is considered one of the brightest batting talents in the country. He has already caught the eye of the selectors owing to his good performances in the Indian domestic circuit. Against New Zealand in their first warm-up game, Shaw made 66 off 78 balls and played a key role in helping his team to victory. Boult was impressed with the composure shown by Shaw, and said that he “couldn’t believe it” when he found out that he was only 17 years old.

Boult said, “I heard he was 17, I couldn’t quite believe it. He played very nicely. The ball swung around nicely at the start, and it didn’t seem to trouble him. He has a promising career ahead of him, if all things go well. But very impressed from the first look.” Shaw was due to travel with the Indian U-19 team to Malaysia for the Asia Cup, but he was pulled out off the tour right before leaving, to open for Board President’s XI against New Zealand. He certainly didn’t disappoint, putting on board an opening partnership of 147 with Test opener KL Rahul.

The Board President’s XI put 295 on the board, and dismissed the Kiwis for 265 runs in the second innings. Boult added, “They (the openers) negated it (the swing) very nicely, played a few shots. A lot of the credit goes to their openers for getting the platform for the rest. They put a very challenging total on the board.”

The formidable Kiwi pacer accepted that there would be no margin for error when his team take on a dominant Indian side, citing the examples of tours that have recently finished. “It’s always a good challenge coming to this part of the world. The Australians have come here and dealt with what they have (lost ODIs 4-1 and drew T20s 1-1),” he said. “It’s a big challenge for us to step up and hopefully upset a side that’s in very, very good form. You need to be accurate, the room for error is very small here. The batsmen are very talented, they like to hit boundaries, and they’re able to hit boundaries of your best balls. So, the accuracy has to be there, the fitness has to be there to keep delivering.”

The first match of the series will be played this Sunday at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, with the teams also set to face-off in a three match T20 series once the three ODIs are over.

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