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IND vs ENG, 2024: Story of Young Yashasvi Jaiswal - From Grassroots to International Glory

India vs England, 2023-24: Story of Young Yashasvi Jaiswal - From Grassroots to International Glory. Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his maiden double hundred in Tests at Vizag.


India vs England, 2nd Test, Day 2_ Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his maiden double hundred in Tests  _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his maiden double hundred in Tests (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)

The method in which a new look Yashasvi Jaiswal batted in the second Visakhapatnam Test was organic and self-processed. His double-century was quite instrumental in India’s 106-run victory against England, especially with the next best in India’s first-innings scorecard being just 34.

 

It was the end of IPL 2022, when a young Jaiswal, after a successful season of 625 runs at a strike rate of 163.61, was standing at a corner. Former India cricketer and Gujarat Titan’s assistant coach, Aashish Kapoor, who once saw Jaiswal growing before his eyes during the Under-19 days, gave him a few pieces of advice.

 

“Even if it’s a 20-over game, there are 120 balls, and you don’t always have to smash from ball one,” Kapoor revealed to Cricbuzz about the conversation. “With your ability, if you give yourself some time, you are going to go even higher.”


From selling pani-puri and spending nights at Azad Maidan to winning hearts

At the very young age of 11, Jaiswal left his small home town, Bhadohi in Uttar Pradesh, and came to Mumbai to pursue his cricketing dream. In Mumbai, he would pick up the bat casually in Azad Maidan and dreamt of playing for Mumbai, because his idol ‘Sachin (Tendulkar) sir’, as he would say, played from this state.

 

Worked hard, not only for the game, but also in the practice in the day-time, or the evening selling pani-puri (one of the popular Indian snacks) near the Azad Maidan, Jaiswal used in sleep one of the groundsmen’s tents.  


It used to be a little awkward when some of his teammates used to come and ask for snacks from him at the end of play. Jaiswal described the biggest turning point of his career as meeting with Jwala Singh, who took him under his wing and looked after him.


“Removing my helmet to acknowledge the landmark was a great feeling,” Jaiswal told ESPNcricinfo after he became the youngest, at the age of 17, to hit a double-century (204 off 154 balls) in the 50-over Vijay Hazare trophy. “I hope I can keep doing well. This is just the start; I need to work more and go further.”

 

The very next year, he became the highest run-getter of the 2020 ICC U-19 World Cup, with 400 runs in six innings at an average of 133.33 and strike rate of 82.47, with four fifties and one century. Even from his early days, he seemed like a middle-weight boxer and it’s unbelievable how he generates so much power in his free-flowing shots.

 


India vs England, 2nd Test, Day 1_ Yashasvi Jaiswal remained unbeaten on 179 on Day 1 _ Walking Wicket (Images_ ©BCCI_Twitter)
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrating his hundred at Vizag (Images: ©BCCI/Twitter)
Jaiswal showed composure and self-belief in various periods of the Vizag Test

Jaiswal came to the Vizag Test after his first innings score of 80 runs in Hyderabad, but most of those runs came on the back of his 10 boundaries and three sixes. His 209-run knock in Vizag was different; it was much more composed and built on his self-belief. 


He threw his bat against Joe Root in the second over of the Test for an uppish drive to the boundary. Three balls later, he sweetly timed the ball for another boundary. It wasn't very nice from the start, but a different style of play than Hyderabad. Rather than only whacking those big shots, he was also giving much attention to defending the ball under his eyes and leaving a few deliveries. 


When Ben Stokes spread out the field in ceasing the run flow, Jaiswal mostly looked to milk those singles, besides some odd boundaries. With a six over long-on, the delighted left-hander celebrated his century by flapping his arms and blowing a kiss on to the heaven. 


In the highlight package of the game, most of the eyes would be on his big shots. But the stand-out part of the knock was how Jaiswal stood firm and saw off the tricky period, when James Anderson, with reverse-swing, went past his outside and inside edge on multiple occasions.

 

Almost 14 of his 19 boundaries came on the off side. To hold his shape under the heat of Vizag for two long days has quietly made his successful transition from junior to senior cricket. It needs a big heart to look for a boundary to reach a double century at such a young age. But Jaiswal, even after watching his senior partners giving away their starts, stood there like a rock.

 

He had a dream start in the Caribbean with a debut Test century; he struggled a little bit on those bouncy surfaces of South Africa, and he also missed a golden opportunity of a big score in Hyderabad. But he was far more calculative owing to the situation of the series in Vizag, and made the right mix of caution with aggression, and didn’t go into the shell at any period.


    

Scoring runs and playing more Tests would hold Jaiswal’s place

Yashasvi Jaiswal, in a different view, not only scored those runs in the first innings but also sent a strong message to the whole team. With 637 runs in his first 11 innings at an average of 57.91, Jaiswal for the moment has cemented his place in the Test side.

 

But, with the amount of talent this country has for this game, and the number of batters scoring numbers in the Ranji Trophy, a few failures with mounting pressure can always put one’s position in the side under real danger. 


With this knock in Vizag, Jaiswal has shown his ability to hold his ground for a long time and aggressively take the game at any point in time. The more he plays, the more experience he would collect. There will be times when the opponents will explore his weakness, and that’s where he needs to work on his technique and keep on getting updated.

 

There have been many instances in the past, where players begin their career in style, but somehow flatten out after a few years. Jaiswal has begun on the right track in his method, but he needs to keep on getting those big runs to hold his position in the team.

 

The third of the five-match Test series will start on February 15, at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot. 


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