17-year-old Vijay Hazare trophy centurion has makings of next big thing

Seventeen-year-old Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his maiden first-class hundred in only his second List-A game for Mumbai during the Vijay Hazare trophy.

Yashasvi Jaiswal cracked his maiden first class century in Mumbai's win over Goa.   -  Sudhakara Jain

Yashasvi Jaiswal is not given to extravagance, it would seem. When he got to his first hundred at senior level for Mumbai on Tuesday -- in only his second List-A game -- he was subdued in his celebrations, settling for a quiet punch of the air. Afterwards, the 17-year-old did not wish to make much of his effort. "I have a long way to go," he said. "There is a lot of hard work to be done. I need to focus on the games ahead. This match is over, it's done."

It was an innings of composure and restraint from Jaiswal, as Mumbai defeated Goa in the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the Alur grounds. The young opener shelved the big hits until they were really necessary, taking 71 balls to get to his half-century. He then accelerated, completing a 111-ball ton, before eventually falling for 113 (123b, 6x4, 5x6).

"I can bat any way the team wants me to," he said. "If I have to play shots, I can do that. If I have to block, I can do that too."

Mumbai coach Vinayak Samant was delighted with Jaiswal's knock. He made it clear he harboured no doubts about the young left-hander's potential. "He batted beautifully today," said Samant. "I'm hoping that after Shreyas Iyer and Prithvi Shaw, he'll be the next batsman from Mumbai to get that India cap. He's got very good temperament. It's the quality of a big player. It's very rare to see that in a 17-year-old."

Jaiswal had all the shots, Samant insisted, but knew when to play them. "He's not in a hurry to score runs. He has the shots, he can clear the boundary easily. But he settles down first, looking for singles, looking for his areas. I'm very happy that after a long time we have got this kind of batsman," he said.

Jaiswal, who left Uttar Pradesh for Mumbai to pursue cricket as a kid, has lived a tough life, struggling to make ends meet in the big city until being taken in by a local coach. "Even that was a good phase of my life," he said, looking back. "I enjoyed it. I was just working hard for what I wanted.”

Had he informed his parents, back home in Bhadohi, of his maiden hundred yet? "They've probably seen the scores," he shrugged. "My mother may not have. So I’ll tell her, ‘Aaj accha kiya maine (I have done well today).’"

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