Yashasvi Jaiswal unleashes the ‘Khadoos’ in him

What can Jaiswal not do?

I’m unstoppable, I’m a Porsche with no brakes

I’m invincible, Yeah, I win every single game

I’m so powerful, I don’t need batteries to play

When the Australian singer Sia sang that, little did she know that the song could perfectly encapsulate  jaiswal’s Test debut. The scene couldn’t have been set any better, you couldn’t have asked for a better batting partner at the other end. 

Rohit’s cricketing career is a journey in itself. Being heralded as Mumbai’s next big thing, Rohit’s career has now taken off in a trajectory that was anticipated. So, Jaiswal couldn’t have asked for someone more understanding than Rohit at the other end. 

Perhaps, the discussions between the two wouldn’t have been cricket. Maybe, it was about dinner plans, about the places to sightsee in Dominica, or what to binge-watch. But the way the two batted, it almost felt like there was an instant connection, a sense of feeling that two long-time opening partners share. 

Jaiswal is merely just acknowledging what Rohit wanted. 

Remember that piece of advice that Rohit had for the debutants? “I want the two debutants to enjoy, they’ve worked hard to come here, I want to make them feel comfortable and have some good memories of their first Test,” is what he had to say. 

Jaiswal enjoyed. Enjoyed every bit of it. It comes down to a point where Jaiswal doesn’t chase challenges, challenges chase him desperately to get the better, only to fall flat every single time on its face. 

Maybe, many of us weren’t around when the legends of Sachin reverberated like an urban legend in the country. Maybe not many of us were glued to our television screens when Mohammad Azharuddin nonchalantly soaked the pressure back in 1984. Maybe you were too busy ignoring the exploits of Murali from yesteryear. 

If that’s the case, there is good news for you, you don’t have to worry anymore. Jaiswal’s knock is all of that combined in one. There is the talent that Sachin possessed, that wrist that made Azharuddin the sought-after property, and that patience that made Vijay the Monk, all in the form of a 21-year-old Jaiswal. 

Jaiswal’s story – from rags to riches – is already a broken record. The journey has been rigorous, the yards have been hard, and at every inch, there was a moment where giving up seemingly was the easiest of options. 

He could have given up when all he could score was 20 on his First-Class debut for Mumbai, he could have given up when Rajasthan Royals dropped him after just a few ordinary outings. He could have given up when the pandemic hit the country, and cricket wasn’t anymore about having fun. 

He could have given up at any point during that long and rigorous journey, but the fact remains: he braved them. He stood up to the challenge and said, “Bring it on”. 

***

Hundred on Irani Cup debut? ✅

Hundred on Duleep Trophy debut? ✅

Hundred on India A debut? ✅

Jaiswal’s resume thus far is pretty okay, isn’t it? 

Now add more accolades to it. An IPL hundred, a double hundred in List A, a double hundred in First-Class. Jaiswal is a monster. What he has achieved thus far could possibly be an aspiration for several other cricketers, but for him, it is already a reality, and he’s just 21. 

When Rohit handed that Test cap to Jaiswal, none questioned that move. In a country where every selection is met with an interrogation, this was met with appreciation. There wasn’t any sort of apprehension. And Jaiswal, on Friday (July 14), proved why. 

Jaiswal exudes quite the enigma. In the IPL, he cut loose, and in tricky and challenging conditions here in Dominica, he showed a completely different face. One that is cut out to play Test cricket. Whenever there were runs on offer, he took them with both hands. 

And when a session required him to ground it out properly, he did that. It was a completely different Jaiswal in Dominica from the one on display day in and day out at the IPL. Even when the best of batters struggle to switch immediately between formats, he did it with such elegance. It was evident from Rohit’s expressions at the non-striker’s end. 

Rohit was content. Content knowing that India’s future was standing tall at the other end. Content knowing that Jaiswal was in for the long game. The pitch in Dominica was a rather tough nut to crack, there were enough dry patches that aided the spinners, and there was enough on the surface that didn’t allow free-flowing strokeplay. 

It required Jaiswal to unleash the ‘Khadoos’ in him. He soaked in the pressure, battled the demons on the pitch, and at the same time, got plenty of hits that made the captain go, ‘Ya, he’s got it’. Jaiswal isn’t the one shying away from responsibility, and at the end of the day’s play, it was quite evident. 

“I love Test cricket, I like this challenge, I enjoy the situation when the ball swings and seams. We have worked hard on everything, I’ve just gone out to express myself,” Jaiswal said after the day’s play. 

When he casually flicked Alick Athanaze for a single, all Jaiswal could do is let his emotions out. He expressed himself, both with the bat and on the field. A huge roar and a yell. But the very next delivery he faced, he went back to basics. Jaiswal is possibly the perfect example of finding a middle ground between aggression and keeping yourself grounded. 

On day two, Jaiswal was content with singles for the longest time and found the boundaries only sparingly. The southpaw insisted that the pitch was slow and it was quite a challenge. It was evident when Virat Kohli walked out to bat, failing to score a single boundary after facing 75 deliveries at the crease. 

“The pitch is on the slower side and the outfield is very slow, it was difficult and challenging, it was pretty hot and I wanted to keep doing it for my country, just play ball-by-ball and enjoy my cricket,” he added.

Statistically and look-wise, India have never had an opener who has shone this bright on debut. Not only did he become the highest run-scorer on debut in away conditions, but he also faced a record 350 balls during his stay at the crease, scoring 143, becoming the only opener in this century to face as many deliveries in a single innings. 

“Jaiswal is a vibrant cricketer, extremely talented. I hope he goes on to do great things in his career. I think we’re going to see some special performances from him,” Ravichandran Ashwin foreshadowing his century couldn’t have been more apt. 

When everyone were expecting Jaiswal to be a swashbuckler, he unleashed the Mumbai ‘Khadoos’ in Dominica to show the world that his talent is not a destination but rather a journey.

Chal Khadoos ho, Jaiswal

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