He is the new prince of world cricket, a diminutive 19-year-old being hailed as the game's next great batsman and he's set to thrill audiences at Bay Oval from tomorrow.

Prithvi Shaw is in Tauranga to play for India A against New Zealand A before flying to Adelaide to resume a test career that has begun in spectacular fashion.

It's not the youngster's first time in town.

"I can't forget that we won the [Under-19] World Cup back in January, so good vibes here," he says.


Much has changed for the teenager since he captained India to a comfortable eight-wicket win over Australia in that final 10 months ago.

He has played his first two test matches, against the West Indies, making 134, 70 and 33 not out in his three innings so far as India won both matches easily.

His century on debut made him the second youngest player to score a test century for India, the other being the legendary Sachin Tendulkar. Shaw's feat against the West Indies means he's only the third player in all of cricket to score a century in both his first-class debut - 120 for Mumbai against Tamil Nadu in January last year - and in his test debut.

"I was a bit nervous going into my first test because it was my first international game, but I was used to the quick bowlers. Before that I'd played for India A against England A," he said.

"All the senior players in the dressing room like [Indian captain] Virat Kohli had six or seven or 10 years of international cricket experience and it was so nice of them just sharing their experience. Whenever I wanted to talk with them, they would talk with me."

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy test series against Australia, in Australia will be the biggest challenge of the young man's career to date, but he's reluctant to talk about those matches next month, preferring instead to focus on what's ahead at Bay Oval.

"The focus is on this India A match, to win here first. The wickets here seem pretty much like Australia, and I want to be focused here, trying to improve my game day-by-day and not looking that far forward."

Prithvi Shaw of India A bats during a tour match between ECB XI v India A earlier this year. Photo / Getty Images
Prithvi Shaw of India A bats during a tour match between ECB XI v India A earlier this year. Photo / Getty Images

India-Australia test matches have become notoriously acrimonious at times in recent years. With David Warner not playing this time and a new "nice" attitude supposedly prevailing in the Australian team, this series should be much friendlier.

Regardless of that, Shaw has been well educated by his more senior colleagues about what to expect next month.

"They're sharing their experiences. They've already played in Australia, but we're really not talking much about Australia. Everyone is trying to focus over here. We all want to get good runs before we go to Australia and we are working hard in our practice sessions to make sure that happens."

Like many Indian batsman of his stature, initial observations of him in the nets suggest he's a strong player off the back foot, quick to punish any bowling that's even the slightest bit short.

He stands very still in his stance and gives the impression of being able to play the ball late – a sure sign of a class batsman.

Shaw's statistics so far are quite mind-boggling. In 16 first-class matches, he has scored eight centuries and has an average of 61.29 runs per innings.

While he hasn't played any one-day internationals yet, he was picked up by the Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League earlier this year and played nine matches, scoring nearly 250 runs at a strike rate of more than 150.

The polite and modest young man turned 19 last week. This weekend in Mount Maunganui will be among the more low-key of his cricket experiences, but fans wanting to get an early glimpse of someone who could be the game's next big thing shouldn't miss out on the opportunity.