Soon after Mumbai completed Uttarakhand’s rout on Thursday , Yashasvi Jaiswal and Suved Parkar were given a special ovation. As the whole bunch sat in a circle at the Alur Cricket Ground 2, the duo was made to deliver a speech to the group standing on a chair.

As much as the game belonged to Parkar, who made a phenomenal debut, it was pivotal for Jaiswal. Playing only his second first-class match of the season, the left-handed opening batter translated his prodigious talent into a maiden hundred. No wonder he looked contented and excited when asked about his milestone moment.

“It matters a lot to me. I will always remember my first century, it will forever be memorable,” Jaiswal said after Mumbai sailed into the semifinal.

“It’s good for my morale and mindset. All the hard work is paying off. It’s been almost four years since I played a Ranji match. Then came the Under-19 World Cup, and COVID came. Didn’t get a chance in the first three games.”

A long wait

Jaiswal’s emergence as boy wonder in 2018-19 - he scored three centuries in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in October 2019 - seemed to suggest that Mumbai’s hunt for a reliable opening pair had ended. However, ever since his record 203 against Jharkhand, he couldn’t really convert the starts into big scores. Since that knock in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, Jaiswal failed to reach the three-figure mark in 23 innings (14 in Vijay Hazare Trophy and nine in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy) until the start of this season.

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During the league stage, despite being a part of the squad, he wasn’t considered for any of the three league matches. “Even in the IPL, it was the same. I played the first three games and then I was out for the next seven. Did well on my comeback. All this time, I kept myself motivated. These experiences are a part of my learning. I believe in myself, I am confident about my abilities,” he said.

Having captain Prithvi Shaw at the other end really helped ease the pressure on Jaiswal in the second innings. “He was scoring briskly so I could take my time,” he said.

Mumbai will be hoping that Jaiswal carries the form into the semifinal versus Uttar Pradesh, starting on Tuesday. If he does, even if he isn’t made to deliver a speech standing on a chair again, his stock will definitely rise.