India news January 5, 2016

Mumbai teenager scores record 1009*


KC Gandhi English School 1465 for 3 dec (Dhanawade 1009*, Aakash 173, Patil 137) beat Arya Gurukul 31 (Patil 5-3) and 52 (8-16) by an innings and 1382 runs

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'Knew I could break the world record once I reached 500'

Pranav Dhanawade, a 15-year-old cricketer from Mumbai, smashed an unbeaten 1009 not out off 327 deliveries to notch up the highest individual score in minor cricket, breaking a 117-year-old record. His team, Smt KC Gandhi School, Kalyan, declared soon after at a mammoth 1465 for 3 and then wrapped up an overwhelmingly one-sided game against Arya Gurukul - bowled out for 31 and 52 - by an innings and 1382 runs.

Dhanawade began the second day of the two-day game - part of the HT Bhandari Cup inter-school tournament - on 652 not out. By then, he had already surpassed the score of 628 not out scored by Arthur Collins in 1899, and had also broken the record for the highest individual score by an Indian cricketer in minor cricket, previously held by Prithvi Shaw, who scored 546 in the Harris Shield in 2013-14.

Dhanawade said that once he had crossed 500, he was confident of breaking Shaw's record and beating Collins' score of 628. The wicketkeeper-batsman admitted it took time for his record-breaking achievement to sink in on Monday, but he began the second day with a clear goal of getting to the 1000-run mark.

"I couldn't believe it last evening that I had scored 652 runs. When I went home, I took a bath and slept. But today I set myself a target of 1000 runs," he told ESPNcricinfo.

Dhanawade - whose previous highest score in recognised cricket was 80-odd - had raced to 921 by lunch and went past the 1000-run mark in the second session. His knock, which spanned almost seven hours, included 129 fours and 59 sixes.

His scoring was probably helped by the size of the ground in the northern suburb of Mumbai. Nestled between two housing complexes, the ground - with a typically muddy Mumbai pitch - is rectangular with extremely short, walled-in square boundaries. Abhishek Karane, a BCCI umpire who was at the match, said it was 110 metres in breadth and 135 metres long but the straight boundaries had been pulled in. Dhanawade targeted the shorter square boundaries, especially on leg side. His school coach, Harish Sharma, however, wasn't willing to concede even a little bit when talking about his student's monumental effort. "I don't think the ground mattered. He hit all over the ground and his technique is built on straight hitting."

The scoreboard at the Kalyan ground displaying Pranav Dhanawade's record score © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Arya Gurukul's Ayush Dubey conceded the most runs - 350 runs in 23 overs. Two other bowlers - Sarth Salunke and Harshal Jadhav - conceded 284 and 281 respectively. Dubey picked up two wickets but rued his side having missed out on a chance, off his bowling, which Dhanawade had offered during his innings. He said Dhanawade had struggled against deliveries outside off but as his innings grew, he was able to steer the bowlers to the smaller square boundaries on either side of the wicket.

"He was struggling to play balls on the off side. When we kept bowling off side to him, he would get into position and hit through leg," Dubey said.

Pranav who was in attacking mode throughout his colossal effort, gave a few stray chances. About that drop off his bowling, Dubey said: "I was so angry that he [the fielder] dropped the catch of such a main player. I was really angry, but I did not tell him anything."

Dhanawade's temperament and fitness were praised by officiating umpire Sunimal Sen. "I would say he was 101% fit [temperamentally], and even after scoring so much he was not tired," Sen said. "Many times we see that batsmen, after scoring a hundred, say 'Sir we want water', but he did not create this type of disturbance. He was very fit."

The innings got plenty of attention on social media and was even mentioned by television commentators in the ongoing Test between South Africa and England. Dhanawade, who idolises former Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, received praise from Sachin Tendulkar and Ajinkya Rahane, while India's limited-overs captain MS Dhoni had some advice for the teenager.

"Often you may find people talking about where [ground, tournament, etc] the individual played and all. But it is a serious business," Dhoni said, when asked about Dhanawade's innings at India's pre-departure press conference in Mumbai. "To score like that anywhere in the world, in those conditions, is very difficult. Not to forget the age of the individual. We need to nurture him, guide him, because all of a sudden the limelight will be on him. He will be compared with a lot of individuals who have been very successful. It is important for the individuals who are close to him - his coach, his parents - to guide him to move in the right direction.

"Definitely he has got talent. What is important is to see how he keeps improving because from now on, every game, every year that passes by, he will be competing against individuals who keep getting better and better."

Rahane urged Dhanawade to keep working hard on his game: "As a Mumbaikar, I am really proud of it. '1009' yeh bolne ke liye itna samay lagte hain [It's quite a mouthful to say 1009]. Two years, ago I think a school team made these many runs, but today an individual managed it. These many runs are usually scored in a season.

"I hope he continues to concentrate on his game. I am sure he will work hard on his game and come and play with us. I want to wish him good luck."

Srikanth Ravishanker is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Cricinfouser on January 10, 2016, 5:07 GMT

    More impressed by Sarth Salunke batting through both innings against opponents 2-3 years older than Pranath Dhanawade blitzing novice bowlers and fielders 2-3 years younger. Let's see who has gone further in cricket in fifteen years time.

  • John on January 8, 2016, 14:52 GMT

    This kind of early fame and fortune can have a negative effect on his developnent as an individual and as a player. Let me just mention an article I read in a tennis magazine long time ago.

    Sampras was 15 years old. He was being beaten by better juniors like David Wheaton, Jim Courrier, Michael Chang and Malavia Washington. All of a sudden he beat David Wheaton. He came home excited from all the attention, There were TV cameras. There were reporters and many admirers. His parents told him that If he loses the next match to Washington, look around and see how many people are around. There was nobody around.

    For this young batsman, he will have to look at his personal life and his future as a cricketer, and manage both properly. He will need proper guidance. The learning process is not going to be easy, but I think that he will be able to handle it.

  • Manesh on January 8, 2016, 11:38 GMT Donot know how to hold bat and still comment like that. Even my grandama can bowl u with her offie.

  • Philip on January 8, 2016, 0:09 GMT

    Australian cricketers have something of an image problem overseas, and rightly so. The sledging and antics one sees is not in the best interests of the game. And although I'm highly critical of this, I feel obliged here to offer here a different side of my countrymen. In Australia, you'll never see such a score. Instead, you may see the batsmen doing the bowling, very slowly, and the bowlers doing the batting, likewise, if the opposition are clearly going to struggle. That does more for a kid's and, indeed, a team's development than the making of any deka-hundred. This is not meant to be in any way a criticism of any child or teen involved in this or any other game, but of a system that allows this sort of thing to happen. That system is the preserve of adults who should make better choices than those illustrated here.

  • Senthil on January 7, 2016, 18:01 GMT

    Kids who have these kind of early achievement rarely go on to achieve greatness. They cannot handle the public's expectation nor can they handle their own expectation. I feel sad. Kids needs to raise through the ranks at the right time. Joe Root and Kane Williamson are great examples. Too much too early is not so good.

  • Sreejith on January 7, 2016, 16:00 GMT

    Although congrats are in order for the young lad for racking up 1000 runs, this is totally against the spirit of sportsmanship. They should have declared when the world record was broken, or at the end of the day. The other team could have very well just conceded the match at the end of the first day (or lets say just before he was about the break the 120 year old record - and then everyone would have called them out for being such spoilsports). But they chose to continue. Maybe the bowling team came back on the second day hoping a declaration was in order, but it was not to be. In any case, a record has been created, and I highly doubt it can be broken. Congrats to the young lad again.

  • Jeanluc on January 7, 2016, 15:00 GMT

    Congrats Dhanawade. irrespective of any reasons, It is great achievement. Coach Harish Sharma should be sacked. I can not imagine such imature behavior in any game at any level in US. It also shows how materialistic and in sensitive adults have become in India in these years. Still let's not hold anything againts Dhanawade.But shame on you Coach!

  • V on January 7, 2016, 14:22 GMT

    Back when, I used to wonder in amazement/cheer at such achievements. But now, having brought up 2 boys in USA, I am more aware of the situation. In all games, in all sports, at this level over here, there is a "mercy rule" which prohibits such mercilessness. The innings, and the game should have been terminated in the first few hours, with a lead of a couple hundred, maybe 3. The Indian big guns should not be pushing such feats. Dhanawade should be aiming to get onto their radars using other, meaningful, opportunities. No doubt, that will be harder. But, that is the point. The person least at fault here is Dhanawade himself. He did his bidding. But, every single senior involved in this charade (think, Tendulkar, Rahane, Dhoni, the coach, etc. etc) needs to hang his head in shame.

  • TVR on January 7, 2016, 13:12 GMT

    really great knock, especially in terms of staying at the wicket but seriously missed out opportunity of coach to teach sportsmanship to young players once the team score has passed 600 (especially knowing the fact that opposition team has under-12 players due to odd reasons and two of them being main bowlers), coaches have to be taught to teach these things this young age to make men out of boys,

  • Monoz on January 7, 2016, 3:26 GMT

    These things happen only in our country. Good on the kid, but not for the country. There is nothing to be happy here as this shows pure inequality in our countries cricket.

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