Yashasvi Jaiswal has been one of the consistent performers in the domestic cricket circuit. The Mumbai-based young batter hammered three first-class double centuries last season and followed it up with three hundred-plus scores.
The 21-year-old has carried his form in the Indian Premier League (IPL), too, emerging as the top run-scorer in this edition of the tournament with 428 runs at an average of 47.5. While he scored three half-centuries early on, Jaiswal hammered a 62-ball-124 - his maiden century in the tournament - on Sunday against Mumbai Indians, even though Rajasthan Royals went down to the five-time champion side by six wickets.
Having made his debut in the franchise league for the Royals in 2020, Jaiswal has been with the team for four seasons now, and over the years, he has only matured as a cricketer. The expectations, obviously, are high from him.
The cricketing fraternity expects the youngster to break into the Indian team soon enough, and former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who is now the director of cricket at Rajasthan Royals, believes that Jaiswal has a long way to go not just with the franchise, but also in international cricket.
“He is not just extremely talented but really hard-working. He spends a lot of time in preparation, in the nets, working on his game. He has worked on his game for 3-4 years with us and it just shows that he is very focused and driven and the results are showing,” Sangakkara said on Sunday.
Coming into the game against Mumbai Indians after a gritty 77 against Chennai Super Kings, Jaiswal remained calm and composed throughout the innings and guided Royals to go past 200-run mark, even as wickets tumbled at the other end. “He played beautifully almost entirely through the innings which was exceptional. Yash has a long way to go not just with us but also internationally. He needs to keep working hard, keep producing runs and knocking on the door,” Sangakkara, one of the legends of the game, said.
Tackling the likes of Jofra Archer at ease, Jaiswal cut and pulled perfectly. “It’s about playing good cricketing shots, trusting his ability, reading the game and situation really well and when he does get the start, to try and maximise it, (and) to keep the intent going throughout the innings,” Sangakkara said.
“Before this IPL, he had not batted a huge amount outside the powerplay, and averaged a little low against pace. But today, and in the previous game as well, he showed when he keeps his intent going. He has the ability to play big innings for us….”
Sangakkara lauded Jaiswal for being a quick learner with ‘great attitude’, but also rued that defending 212, the bowling should have been a bit more disciplined. Needing 17 runs in the final over, Tim David hit three consecutive sixes off Jason Holder to guide Mumbai Indians home. Despite Jaiswal dominating a large part of the evening at his ‘home ground’, David stole the show and caused heartbreak for Royals.
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