India vs WI: For Yashasvi Jaiswal, a tricky journey is just well begun

Jaiswal has now become the 17th Indian batsman to score a century on the Test debut, while he is only the third opener to do so after Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw

Yashasvi Jaiswal (Photo: Twitter/BCCI)
Yashasvi Jaiswal (Photo: Twitter/BCCI)

Gautam Bhattacharyya

It’s no surprise really that Yashasvi Jaiswal has become the toast of the Indian cricket overnight, thanks to a patient unbeaten century on his Test debut against the West Indies at Dominica. It’s just the beginning of a long journey, as the precocious talent told the broadcasters after the day’s play, and the Indian cricket fans hope it really is.  

Barely a day before, Jwala Singh, the childhood coach of Jaiswal said in an interview that one of the biggest qualities about his protégé from early days was that he hated getting out. A quality, which was amply in evidence during the Southpaw’s marathon effort of 143 off 350 deliveries – which saw him batting the whole of second day.     

It bettered the unique record of Mohammad Azharuddin of facing the highest number of deliveries for an Indian debutant in Tests – the former Indian captain and the wristy genius having faced 322 balls for his 110 against England way back in 1984. Jaiswal’s refreshing show of temperament and shot selection was in sharp contrast to the 21-year-old’s quicksilver effort of a 13-ball fifty in the last IPL for the Rajasthan Royals, a record for the fastest half-century in the league in an edition where he consolidated his claims for a national call-up.

Yes, there could be the odd voice of cynicism as to whether India’s opening partnership of 229 – a record against the Caribbeans – came against one of the hosts’ weakest attacks ever. The new ball attack of experienced Kemar Roach and Alzarri Joseph was actually as good as any and with Rahkeem Cornwall getting a fair bit of turn in the first session, both Jaiswal and his skipper Rohit Sharma applied themselves before going for the kill.

It was a challenge of different sorts as the Dominican wicket demanded a waiting game, while the slow outfield also made scoring difficult than it looked. The first impressions of Jaiswal in international cricket has been extremely good so far – he has ticked all the boxes to show that he has the credentials to be an all-format player. It’s however too early to say if the youngster can be an answer to India’s much-needed search for a left-right opening combination in the Tests after Shikhar Dhawan’s departure from the scene.

 Jaiswal has now become the 17th Indian batsman to score a century on the Test debut, while he is only the third opener to do so after Dhawan and Prithvi Shaw. The euphoria over Shaw’s arrival as the next big thing in Indian cricket after he scored an attacking 134 against the same opponents at Rajkot in 2018 is still fresh in memory.

However, it’s been a rocky ride for Shaw since then – and it’s not exactly a secret that the Mumbai opener himself has to take some of the blame for his current woes. Jaiswal, whose early struggle has already been well documented, should be on guard on his work ethic and cement on the start that he has got so far.

 For now, it’s well played Jaiswal!   

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