IPL 2020: Yashasvi Jaiswal ready for the UAE test

The 18-year-old Rajasthan Royals southpaw is itching to make his IPL debut and will be one of the batsmen to watch out for this season.

Yashasvi Jaiswal at a Rajasthan Royals training session in Dubai. - RAJASTHAN ROYALS   -  RAJASTHAN ROYALS

Life has been a fascinating journey for Yashasvi Jaiswal, from Bhadohi to Dubai. As a young boy, he left his hometown near Varanasi for Mumbai, with cricketing dreams in his eyes.

Life wasn’t easy in the city of dreams. He slept in a tent and sold snacks on the streets when he was not clobbering bowlers out of Azad Maidan.

The southpaw batted his way out of those hard times. The next leg of his journey saw him hopping onto the bus that carried the senior Mumbai team. He shone brightly, becoming the world’s youngest player to score a List-A double hundred.

That innings against Jharkhand at Bengaluru, and a few others in the Vijay Hazare tournament last year, did not go unnoticed by the IPL franchises. Rajasthan Royals secured his services for ₹2.4 crore, 12 times his base price.

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Jaiswal showed the Royals were right to be so keen on him at the U-19 World Cup earlier this year in South Africa, the most recent stop in his journey. He smashed 400 runs from six matches at an average of 133.33 to lead the run charts and was adjudged the Player of the Tournament.

There is, understandably, a lot of excitement about what he could do in the IPL.

‘Part of a family’

“I am happy that I am part of Rajasthan Royals, where you feel like part of a family,” the 18-year-old told Sportstar over phone from Dubai. “The seniors are humble; they help me out in the nets and I feel free to chat with them.”

Living in the IPL’s bio-secure bubble has been a strange experience, but he has become used to it. “We cannot go outside, but we have enough things to do inside,” he said. “We have the beach, the swimming pool, the workout area, so it is all right. After all, we have to follow the COVID-19 guidelines to keep us and others safe.”

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Jaiswal is itching to make his IPL debut. “Being part of the IPL is an amazing feeling,” he said. “I have already learnt how different the senior level is from the junior. You gain a lot when you play First Class and List-A cricket.”

After playing one First Class and 13 List-A matches, he is looking forward to the next stop in his remarkable journey.

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