How Wasim Jaffer’s tips helped Yashasvi Jaiswal score hundreds
MUMBAI: Yashasvi Jaiswal was in fine form this summer, cracking four fifties to star in the India under-19 team’s tri-Series triumph in England. The talented Mumbai youngster then carried that touch to the Vizzy One-Day Trophy (warm-up tournament for the season) in Vizag, scoring 224 runs and taking eight wickets to win the ‘Man of the Tournament’ award. However, there was something which was continuously troubling the 17-year-old opener. For someone used to cracking hundreds for fun in inter-school cricket, he hadn’t scored one in a while now.
At that point, he learnt a valuable lesson in building a long innings from Mumbai’s batting colossus Wasim Jaffer, who now plays for Vidarbha.
“The problem of not converting my fifties into hundreds was affecting me. I was scoring 70s and 80s, and taking wickets too, but not scoring centuries and finishing off the match. Then I saw Wasim sir score a hundred there. I learnt a lot by just watching him bat. He batted till the end, taking singles and waiting for loose balls to hit the boundaries. After that match, he advised me about what shots I could play, and which were the areas where I could take a chance against the bowlers. I kept that chat with him in my mind,” Jaiswal tells TOI.
Jaffer's tips have not only helped Jaiswal learn the art of scoring hundreds at the senior level — he scored his second ton in three games, against Kerala on Monday — but are also helping Mumbai stay alive in their ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign at Alur, near Bangalore. So far, Jaiswal has scores of 44, 113, 22 & 122 in the one-day tournament.
The last hundred — 122 off 132 balls, including 14 fours — came in a do-or-die game for the defending champions. Chasing 200 after seamers Dhawal Kulkarni and Shardul Thakur took three wickets each to bowl Kerala out for 199, Jaiswal added 195 for the opening wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman and former captain Aditya Tare, who scored 67, to seal the issue.
“There was pressure on me and us to perform. Kerala’s attack was pretty decent, but I was hitting the ball well. I’m feeling so good after doing well for Mumbai. I need to keep batting well, because we need to win our next game (against Jharkhand) too (in order to qualify for the knockouts). My focus is completely on that,” he stresses, dismissing thoughts of perhaps being noticed by a few IPL teams’ talent scouts, ahead of this year’s IPL auction, which will be held in Kolkata on December 19.
He’s just signed a new bat deal too.
“As I told you, I never think about those things. To me, what matters is my performance,” he shoots back.
Jaiswal shares a special relationship with Jaffer.
“I keep speaking to him. I follow him and Sachin (Tendulkar) sir a lot. Wasim sir gives me an idea about which bowler could bowl what line to me, what would be his field-setting while bowling to me. He tells me to keep in mind my strong points, and observe how the wicket is playing. His and my coach Jwala sir’s (Singh) tips are really of great help to me.
"My coach speaks a lot to me. Shreyas (Iyer, Mumbai captain) and (coach) Vinayak Samant have backed me to do well, and that encourages me,” says the young turk.