Indian cricket’s “Next Big Thing” Yashasvi Jaiswal is a stickler for processes and there are a few basic rules that he follows while preparing for high-intensity, high-stakes game like the “intense one” against KKR, which he would “remember for a long time”.
Jaiswal, who struck IPL’s fastest half-century in 13 balls en route his magnificent 98 not out in 47 balls, has now scored 575 runs in 12 games at a strike-rate of 167 plus. He is just one run short of Faf du Plessis’ current aggregate of 576.
“I will remember this innings for a long time in my life. It was very intense,” said the 21-year-old at the post-match media interaction. When I went to bat, I felt I had very less time and suddenly I felt ‘sab sahi jaa rah a hai’ (everything was falling in place)… I thought I should continue playing like this. It’s one of my memorable knocks,” Jaiswal told media after the game.
The harder you train, the easier it gets in match situation is a basic theme but very difficult to follow at times. Putting his effort in systemic training, Jaiswal has found success and his India call-up will be a matter of time.
“My thumb rule is on my routine and the process, it matters a lot to me. I try my best to keep my focus on that and keep learning every match. It’s very important as I have to take my game forward,” he added.
Putting in hours under RR’s ‘Director of Cricket’ Zubiin Bharucha at their academy — MSD.7 — in Talegaon, a village in Maharashtra’s Wardha district is helping him immensely.
“I talk a lot with Zubin Sir about my batting. We have a very good academy in Talegaon. My biggest preparation happens there, I can play all my shots, keep myself fit,” he said.
He said he gets confidence from his mental and physical preparation.
“After fielding for 20 overs, you have to go open the innings with such an intensity. So overall, I do what I can outside cricket to keep myself fit, mentally strong. I get the confidence from that.”
Talking to legends
Jaiswal further said whenever he gets a chance he talks to legendary Indian players like MS Dhoni.
“I always try to be in the zone and remain in the atmosphere. I have many experienced legendary players around me. Whenever I get a chance I keep talking to MS bhai, Virat (Kohli) bhai, Rohit (Sharma) bhai, Jos (Buttler) bhai, Sanju (Samson) bhai on how to keep my mind calm, what to think.”
“Always try to learn, what all I can improve and bring into my game, how to control… This game is fully mental first then physical. You have to keep yourself in the zone.”
Jaiswal came to the limelight in 2019 when at 17 years and 292 days he became the youngest batter in the world to score a domestic one-day double century.
Playing for his domestic team Mumbai, he scored 203 off 154 balls in their match against Jharkhand at Alur in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.
The Royals then had invested in the 17-year-old roping him at ₹2.4 crore, 12 times his base price for the IPL-2020.
But he had scored only three fifties in 23 matches in his first three seasons before the breakthrough year came.
He also scored a 62-ball 124 against Mumbai Indians at Wankhede.
Jaiswal said he is a team player and never paid attention to an approaching milestone while batting.
“I never think about all this. I always think about what the team wants from me, what shots I can play. How to keep the run-rate high.
“We have seen 215 is chaseable here (Eden). It depends on team requirement. I try my best to do what my team needs, it’s well and good if I get to a milestone in the process.”
Aim was to stay till end of chase
Jaiswal could have gone for a six that would have given him a second century of the season but he chose a boundary to finish off the chase, that kept him two runs shy of the triple mark.
“I had the intent to hit a six (and get to century) but it’s okay, I also wanted to play long win the match. From a last few games, I’ve been trying hard to stay till the end and finish the game. That’s my mindset always.”
Jaiswal started off hitting 26 runs in Nitish Rana’s first over.
“I wasn’t taken aback seeing Rana bowl the first over. You expected the wicket to offer turn from the new ball.
“When I saw Nitish Bhai coming to bowl the first over, I backed myself to play my shots and score some quick runs, even if it was the first ball of the match. You never knew where the first ball would land. I just played my shots,” he concluded.