Yashasvi has been a quick learner and adapted well, says childhood coach

BCCI’s Best International Debutant awardee draws praise from Ashwin to Atherton

Yashasvi Jaiswal
Yashasvi Jaiswal

Gautam Bhattacharyya

As many as three Indian batters fell on the cusp of centuries as they piled on a potentially winning total in the first Test against England – Yashasvi Jaiswal, KL Rahul and a resilient Ravindra Jadeja on Saturday morning. However, the innings which captured the imagination the most was that of young Yashasvi, who won the ‘Best International Debut 2022-23’ honours in the recent BCCI annual awards.

In what was a star-studded evening in Hyderabad for the BCCI gig two days ahead of the Test match, the 22-year-old drew one of the loudest cheers when he walked up to collect his trophy. The Mumbai boy, whose stories of struggle in early years is already well documented, dished out his own version of a desi Bazball before falling for 80 due to a lapse in concentration against Joe Root.

From the likes of Michael Atherton to senior teammate Ravi Ashwin, there has been allround praise on how quickly Yashasvi has adapted to the needs of the longer version of the game ever since he took his international bow with a patient century against the West Indies last year.

Speaking in his popular Tamil Youtube channel, Ashwin gushed: ‘’He (Jaiswal) had a great time in the IPL, had a wonderful start in first class cricket. I am quite enjoying it. I am seeing Rishabh Pant here. His fearless cricket is serving him well. Yashavi has not put a foot wrong, he has taken to Test cricket like a fish to water.’’

A big endorsement this which can be proved only with time, but he has certainly has come a long way since making his IPL debut for Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2020 on the back of a rousing show in the Under-19 World Cup. No one has seen his career graph closer than Jwala Singh, his coach-and-mentor, for whom the cricketer was like a member of the family for almost a decade.

‘’The best thing about Yashasvi is he is a quick learner and knows how to adapt as per the requirement of the format. He showed he wants to dominate in Tests as well and all I want to tell him is to have faith in his abilities,’’ said Jwala.

Taking time out from his TV commentary assignment of the Test in a regional language, the wannabe star’s childhood coach told National Herald on the phone: ‘’There is really a lot of competition for the top order slots in Indian team and I am glad that he has been able to grab the opportunity with both hands so far. In the two-Test series in South Africa, he failed in the first couple of occasions but then, you do need a couple of innings to settle down in such testing conditions.’’

While Jaiswal showing the potential to fulfil the opener’s role in Tests, the Indian think tank can seriously mull the possibility of a left-right combination at the top since the days of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

The T20Is, of course, are very much his cup of tea – where he reserved his best for IPL 2023 when he outshone senior partner Jos Buttler to amass 625 runs from 14 matches – bettering Australian Shaun Marsh’s previous record of 616 runs in 2008 as the most runs by an uncapped player in the biggest franchise league.

With only the IPL left between now and the T20 World Cup in June, the buzz is there is no need to look beyond the Rohit-Yashasvi combination as openers for the marquee event. ‘’It’s not within my purview to suggest what’s an ideal combination but on current form, there is a good chance of it happening,’’ added Jwala.

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