August 17, 2021
Why do we lose the run of ourselves over young talents such as Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Tiger Woods or Wayne Rooney?
The allure of the sporting prodigy
By David Windram for The Nightwatchman
It starts with a whisper. A couple of mentions online. You begin to recognise the name, but nobody has actually seen them. Numbers paint the picture. Then the first sighting at some niche age-group tournament, perhaps a mention in the local press. Grainy YouTube footage. Next, a domestic debut. The whisper has become an echo. Yells for full international honours fill the air. Now everyone is aware. It’s that rare beast – the prodigy.
“He has a little chink in his armour,” said Ricky Ponting in commentary as Prithvi Shaw prepared to bat. “I think it’s the ball that comes back into him. He quite often leaves a gap between bat and pad, and that is where the Aussies will target. Starc will try and swing one back through the gate.” Shaw’s off stump went jack-knifing across the Adelaide Oval seconds after Ponting had explained how it would happen. It was the second ball of the Test. Shaw would face another four balls before being dumped for the remainder of the 2020–21 series between Australia and India. He is yet to face another Test delivery.
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