The insatiable appetite of Yashasvi Jaiswal for runs

Last updated on Tue, Dec 20, 2022, 08:57 PM

Three centuries in three Ranji games last season, two double hundreds in three Duleep Trophy matches this season, a century on debut for India ‘A’ in Cox Bazar in Bangladesh last month, and a big hundred against Hyderabad on Tuesday… Yashasvi Jaiswal has been on a roll in red ball cricket. Not too long ago he was typecast as a white ball specialist — a retention by the Rajasthan Royals team in the IPL.

“That is his habit. He has a tendency to prove critics wrong and bounce back strongly,” says Jwala Singh, the Mumbai opener’s coach. “He is maturing fast in red ball cricket. As an opener, he has been phenomenal of late. He knows how to tire the bowler and take advantage.” Few can dispute the claims of Jaiswal’s coach.

A total of 498 runs at an average of 83 last Ranji season, including a century in both innings of the semifinal, and almost identical 497 at an average of 99.40 in this year’s Duleep Trophy, including a big daddy hundred (265) in the final are testimony to his soaring career graph in red ball cricket that Singh spoke of. Adding to that is 146 against Bangladesh ‘A’ in difficult conditions. In 18 first class innings so far, he has amassed 1397 runs, the numbers that announce his arrival in a big way in the multi-day format.

The reason for his success in first class cricket is his ability to keep things simple and find a way to reach a meeting point where white ball technique merges into red ball cricket. Being an opener, he is used to the ball moving early on in the limited-overs formats and he finds that an advantage in first class games although red ball does more than the white ball. “As I am an opener, I see the ball move in both formats. Not that there are no differences in the two formats but I prepare for the ball to move. I focus on my shots and timing,” he explains on how he goes about his task.

And at the BKC ground on Tuesday, he missed a chance to make it a double — he was out for 162. “I am disappointed he could not convert that into a double,” says Singh. “I am disappointed too,” adds Jaiswal after his 195-ball 162 that included two big partnerships with seniors Surya Kumar Yadav (153 for the second wicket) and skipper Ajinkya Rahane (206 for the third wicket).

It was not the first time he was batting with the two senior pros but he did not miss the opportunity to learn a few tricks from Surya and Rahane. “That was a great experience, having to be associated with Surya Bhai and Ajju Bhai in the middle. While it was a great learning time, it was fun too. I was conversing with them constantly. They were telling me how to go about the knock.”

It was evident that he was taking the seniors’ advice seriously. With coach Amol Muzumdar around, there was no shortage of tips. The coach was also sending directions to the middle at regular intervals. He mostly observed while Surya was at the other end and opened up after he left. With the pitch easing after the first hour, Jaiswal took advantage of the helpful batting conditions.

By lunch, Mumbai were 169 for one with Jaiswal on 60. He marched to his century in no time in the second session and was soon toying with the bowlers. Twenty seven fours and a six bore the stamp of a batter who was confident and in command. More than one third of Mumbai’s end-of-day total of 457 for three came off his blade.

“The results are not in my hands but preparation is. I follow my daily routines and processes. The target is to grab the opportunities that come my way,” he says. On Tuesday he managed to prove that — white ball or red ball, he got his basics right and has a ravenous appetite for runs.

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