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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

‘In India, when you grow up, you work really hard for everything’: Yashasvi Jaiswal

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Rajkot: The leading run-getter in the current ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle Yashasvi Jaiswal continues to establish himself as one of India’s rising superstars.

The 22-year-old has already broken and created new records in his seven Test matches. After his back-to-back double hundreds helped him overtake Usman Khwaja (855 runs) to become the most prolific batter in the current WTC cycle with 861 runs, on February 18, during Day 4 of the Rajkot Test, Jaiswal also became the first India batter to hit 12 sixes in a Test innings and with 22 sixes in only three Tests, he went past his opening partner and skipper Rohit Sharma (19 sixes) on the list of most sixes hit in a bilateral Test series.

“In India, when you grow up, you work really hard for each and everything. Even when getting the bus you have to work really hard to get on the bus. You have to work really hard to get to the train and auto and everything and I have done that since my childhood and I know how important every innings is and that’s why I work hard in my [practice] sessions and every innings counts for me and my team,” Jaiswal said on broadcast post-match.

“That is my biggest motivation to play for my country and I just make sure that whenever I’m there I need to give my 100% and then enjoy,” he said.

The first innings of the Rajkot Test saw Jaiswal dismissed early to Mark Wood for 10 runs. However, Rohit and Ravindra Jadeja’s centuries helped India to a strong total of 445. The effort from the senior men instilled in young Jaiswal with motivation to go big in the second innings.

“The way Rohit bhai and Jaddu bhai played in the first innings, motivated me a lot,” Jaiswal said.

“Because the passion was there, the talk was there, they were determined to play session by session and when I was inside [the dressing room] I kept thinking that when I go there I have to make it count. The way they were talking about the game, the way they motivated us, I think it’s incredible to see them putting a lot of effort,” he said.

Jaiswal’s unbeaten 214 not out wasn’t straightforward to come by. He started steadily by scoring just 29 runs from his first 64 balls but then blazed to his hundred in the next 58 balls before a back spasm late on Day 3 forced him to walk back retired hurt. Jaiswal resumed his knock the next day and cruised to his double century that included a hat-trick of sixes against England’s great James Anderson.

“It’s kind of hard, Test cricket, I guess. So, I just make sure that if I’m there, I need to make sure in my mind that I will give my 100%,” Jaiswal said.

“Suddenly I got set and I felt that I could score runs. I have my plans where I could play all my shots and I tried to play only those shots and get those runs. After some time, my back was not really good,” he said.

I didn’t want to retire out but it was too much. The next day I didn’t know how it was going to start, lots of thoughts in my mind. But again when I came, I tried to give myself time and after that, I felt really really good,” Jaiswal said.

Jaiswal acknowledged India Head Coach Rahul Dravid and Batting Coach Vikram Rathour’s role in mentoring him through his nascent Test career and regularly visits seniors in the team for advice.

“As a cricketer, I always go with the emotion. Sometimes I do well and sometimes I don’t. The way they come and the way they talk about cricket and all other things, I think it’s been incredible and I’m really enjoying it,” he said.

“The things that they have told me, how I can think about the game, how I can read the wicket, how I can take my game as deep as I can and with that also they give me all the freedom. ‘If you think that you can play that shot well, make sure you are committing to it and you’re playing it’. They know that I play the sweep and the reverse sweep and they say you play, but make sure the ball is there to play,” Jaiswal said.

“I always keep thinking and talking to my seniors like Rohit bhai and Rahul bhai as well about how I can prepare for the game and how I can switch my mind. I think it is really important to work on my mind and I really try to work on my mind and then I try to express myself,” he added.

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