Cricket: Jaiswal’s dazzling success indicates India may be seeing birth of another legend

With two double centuries and a total of more than 600 runs to his name, Yashasvi Jaiswal has become the outstanding player of the ongoing Test series between India and England. He became the fifth Indian batter to score more than 600 runs in a single Test series. The others are Sunil Gavaskar, Virat Kohli, Rahul Dravid and Dilip Sardesai. So perhaps we are seeing the birth of another legend of Indian cricket.

Already the 22-year-old Jaiswal is being compared to Virender Sehwag whose record of sixes he has broken. His 23 sixes this year are a testimony to his ability to play aggressive shots. The fact that this slender youth was able to slam the experienced James Anderson for three sixes shows that Jaiswal is going through a golden phase of his career and his confidence is very high.

Man behind Jaiswal’s success

The man behind Jaiswal’s phenomenal rise is his coach Jwala Singh. The coach is a fatherly figure to Jaiswal in cricket. The two shares a similar background and this has created a strong bond between them. As a youth, Jwala Singh came to Mumbai from Gorakhpur hoping to build a career in cricket. He achieved only modest success but he has found his reward and satisfaction in guiding his protégé Jaiswal to the very top.

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Before meeting Jaiswal, the coach Jwala Singh had trained several players but had not found any great potential in them. After a few years as coach Jwala Singh saw Jaiswal playing in a match at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai and within a few minutes he realised that he had found an uncut diamond.

At that stage Jaiswal too needed a mentor. He was at a phase of his career when he knew he could do much better if he could find a teacher to polish his raw talent. So when the two of them decided to work together, it was a win-win situation for both of them.

Jaiswal’s game rose a notch higher and he was selected for the Indian under 19 squad for the Asia Cup where he made a name for himself and bagged the Player of the Tournament award. In 2020 he bagged the same award in the Under 19 World Cup and it became clear that he was headed for great achievements in his career.

Later he was also selected for the Indian senior team that was going to tour the West Indies. His knock of 171 in his first match against the West Indies showed his class.

Outstanding player of the series

He was then selected in the Indian team which was to play against England in the Test series of 2024 and we know how well he has succeeded in this series. In the second match of the series which was held at Visakhapatnam, he compiled his first Test double century and became the third youngest Indian batsman, after Sunil Gavaskar and Vinod Kambli to achieve that feat.

In the next match of the series at Rajkot, Jaiswal scored another double century, becoming third Indian batter after Kambli and Kohli to slam double centuries in consecutive Test matches.

Qualities that make him successful

What qualities make him so successful? For one, he picks up the line and length of the ball very early and has plenty of time to play his shots. According to former Test cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, Jaiswal is one of the best players of the cover drive in recent times. He can cover drive off the front foot and also lean back to play the same shot if the length of the ball requires him to do so.

According to Manjrekar this ability to play cover drives off deliveries of different lengths make him a nightmare for spinners. They don’t know where to pitch the ball in order to stop Jaiswal’s shots. The hallmark of any great batter is the ability to spot length very early and that is the quality which Jaiswal has.

Former England captain Alistair Cook was unstinting in his praise for Jaiswal’s mental focus and technical excellence. According to Cook, this Indian batter plays with remarkable maturity for a youngster of only 22 years. If he continues in this vein he will become India’s leading batsman in the near future.

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