India colts Jaiswal and Saxena: Different, yet the same

While Jaiswal bats left-handed, Saxena is a right-hander. And when it comes to personal lives, they are poles apart. But the duo has been involved in some real big partnerships and will represent India in the U-19 World Cup.

Dilip Vengsarkar and Ajinkya Rahane felicitate Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena, at the Dadar Union Cricket Club on Thursday.   -  Vijay Bate

Besides representing Dadar Union Sporting Club since childhood, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Divyaansh Saxena share a penchant for killing the opposition with big scores at the top of the order. But the similarities end there.

While Jaiswal bats left-handed, Saxena is a right-hander. And when it comes to personal lives, they are poles apart in so many ways.

Jaiswal travelled to Mumbai from a village in Uttar Pradesh in quest of fulfilling his cricketing ambition, stayed in a tent, sometimes even sold chaat occasionally to earn a living.

Saxena, on the other hand, comes from a higher middle-class family, with his father being a scientist at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre and an elder sister pursuing masters at the Indian Institute of Management in Indore. Not to forget, he himself excels in academics, a rare trait for a majority of cricketers who excel in the sport nowadays.

Despite the contrasts, the duo has been involved in some real big partnerships at the top, be it for Dadar Union or Dilip Vengsarkar Foundation, Mumbai’s age-group teams and now India Under-19 squads. No wonder then that both the teenagers are looking forward to open the innings for India in the U-19 World Cup, set to start in South Africa on January 17.

While Jaiswal — having made giant strides in domestic cricket, with a double hundred in the Vijay Hazare Trophy being the highlight of his impressive career so far — was a certainty, Saxena wasn’t sure about his place in the squad despite scoring big in England earlier in the year.

“There was some anxiety the night before the team was announced for the World Cup. That’s natural even though you know you have performances to back your case. I was just scrolling through my instagram feed and saw my name in the squad, so it was a relief when I came to know that my name was on the list,” says an eloquent Saxena.

Jaiswal, meanwhile, is looking forward to not getting bogged down by the big-player tag at the big event. “ I will just try to treat it like just another assignment and stick to the same process that I have followed all along. I anyway don’t think too much about results, so I will just stick to my routine and try to give my best,” he says.

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