Despite losing to Bangladesh in the final of the recently-concluded ICC U-19 World Cup in South Africa, India can walk away from the tournament with a fair few positives. Chief among them is the discovery of some promising young talents whose performances suggest that the future of Indian cricket is indeed in good hands. Yashasvi Jaiswal, in particular, looked the real deal as he enhanced his growing reputation exponentially by finishing as the tournament’s top scorer, also picking up the Player of the Tournament award.
On his return home, the young Mumbai batsman revealed what might be the secret to his success, saying that practising on Astro-turf pitches before the tournament prepared him for the bouncy wickets in South Africa.
Jaiswal dedicated his Player of the Tournament award to his mentor Jwala Singh, whom he credited for his success in the tournament after explaining that the pair practised how to play on bouncy tracks and how to deal with short-pitched deliveries. Talking to PTI, Jaiswal said:
"I was either playing or leaving short-balls. There is bounce on astro-turf wickets like how it is there, so I batted on astro-turf wickets and that worked."
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Jaiswal, who amassed 400 runs in six innings, was not dismissed for a score below 50 throughout the entire World Cup and was instrumental in India’s run to the final. On his performance in South Africa, the 18-year-old had this to say:
"It was a very good experience, to play in a different country, where the wickets were also different. And I enjoyed batting as I was batting for longer duration in the games as well as in the nets. I learned a lot while playing and also learned how to deal with pressure, as pressure was there during most of the games."
Jaiswal went on to thank his opening partner and Dadar Union teammate Divyaansh Saxena, with whom he forged a formidable opening partnership during the tournament:
"Whenever I was in a hurry or went for a big shot, we spoke to each other. At such times, Diyvansh used to tell me 'keep playing, a lot of time is left in the game, we will score runs'."
Finally, Jaiswal also expressed his gratitude to junior chief selector Anish Kapoor, who he revealed was instrumental in taking up the role of opening batsman.
"All the U-19 selectors helped me a lot. It was because of Ashish Kapoor sir that I was able to open. I would like to thank all the selectors and coaches."
With an IPL berth at Rajasthan Royals secured and murmurs about a possible call-up to the national side already starting, the future certainly seems bright for the swashbuckling southpaw.Published 15 Feb 2020, 23:29 IST