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From tent to triumph: Yashasvi Jaiswal’s rise continues

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RAJKOT: The

Yashasvi Jaiswal

story keeps getting bigger and bigger. On Sunday, the left-handed opener from Mumbai smashed a scintillating double century (214 off 236 balls) – his second on the trot – which included a record 12 sixes, to star in India’s 434-run rout of England in the third Test here.
Three of those sixes were hit off consecutive balls off James Anderson, arguably the best swing bowler in the history of the game.

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For a while, it seemed that

Jaiswal

and his fellow Mumbai young gun

Sarfaraz Khan

, who was making his Test debut, were batting in the IPL, as the duo added 172 in just 158 balls for the fifth wicket in India’s second innings. With India looking for a quick declaration, the duo toyed with England’s bowlers.

Returning to bat after retiring hurt at 104 the previous evening due to back spasms, 22-year-old Jaiswal unleashed a record-breaking display, putting the England attack to the sword. His feat- becoming only the second batsman in international cricket history to hit 12 sixes in an innings (joining Wasim Akram’s 1996 performance against Zimbabwe) – makes his achievement even more remarkable.

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Jaiswal’s penchant for hitting sixes came to the fore last year in the IPL, when he carved 26 sixes for the

Rajasthan Royals, including a blistering 62-ball 124-run knock against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium.

Till this point in the

India-England series

, the left-handed opener has scored 545 runs in three Tests@109.00, with two double centuries and one fifty – by far the most by any batsman in the India-England five-Test series.

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Having made 171 on his Test debut against West Indies at Dominica in July last year, Jaiswal has also become the only Indian batsman to have recorded scores of 150-plus in his first three hundreds. Jaiswal has scored 861 runs@71.75 in seven Tests.
Jaiswal’s success story, well-documented by now, is as inspirational as it gets. As a kid, he was, for some time, forced to assist pani puri sellers at the Azad Maidan, where he slept in a tent, after his parents left his village, Badohi, in Uttar Pradesh. At that point, Jwala Singh, a well-known local coach in Mumbai, took a then 12-year-old Jaiswal home, providing the boy with shelter, coaching and mentoring from an early age.

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Jaiswal dominated the U-19 World Cup in 2020, smashing five fifties and finishing as the highest run-getter. He translated his World Cup success into an IPL bid of 2.4cr, and then thrived with 625 runs in 14 matches for Rajasthan Royals.
Jaiswal still has peaks to scale-while he played in a couple of Tests in South Africa in December 2023-January 2024 (scored 85 runs in two Tests@12.50), many feel his real test will come when India tour Australia this winter and England in the summer next year to play Tests. Preparing Jaiswal for overseas Test challenges is the primary focus for Rajasthan Royals High Performance coach Zubin Bharucha, who has been working a lot on Jaiswal’s game in the last few years.

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“Now, we have to push the boundaries of our sport even further to do the same on every surface. Big challenges lie ahead,” Bharucha told TOI.
Sensibly, post India’s win on Sunday, Indian captain

Rohit Sharma

preferred to let the young turk carry on with his red-hot form, rather than go ga-ga on him.
“I won’t say anything about Jaiswal now, everyone is talking about him. Let him play. He’s playing well and (that) is good for us. He’s in good form. I’m not going to say much more than that,” he said.

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