Yashasvi Jaiswal, 21, continues to impress whenever he walks out to bat. May it be for Mumbai in the domestic circuit or Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), the aggressive southpaw has the all-round game to excel in every format and had a brilliant domestic season for his state.
Still early days in the ongoing 2023 edition of IPL but Jaiswal has given a trailer of things to come and has already scored two half-centuries in five innings. After a thrilling away win over Gujarat Titans on Sunday, the youngster, in an exclusive conversation with News18 CricketNext, talks about his domestic run, working with Jos Buttler and Kumar Sangakkara, and the continuous efforts to improve his leg-spin in the nets.
IPL 2023: Orange Cap Complete List of Batters with Most Runs, Check here
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
A close win against Gujarat Titans in Ahmedabad on Sunday. How special was it?
One of the best matches I would say. Really enjoyed ourselves together and it was really nice to win.
You are just 21 and have already come a long way. Does it sometimes feel like a dream? The journey from Azad Maidan to Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur?
Nahi sapna to nahi lagta (laughs). I have worked really hard for this. So it’s not a dream but feels really nice. My effort is to keep improving every day and get at better with the game slowly.
For Mumbai, you had a brilliant domestic season across formats and have developed this habit of scoring big, daddy hundreds. How much confidence did that season give you before the IPL?
I don’t think that much. I think about dealing with it one game at a time. But if you do perform well, you get confidence and you enjoy your innings and you learn from it. Even if you are playing red ball, then also it brings a huge impact on you. You try to understand your game better. And of course, when I play IPL, it’s a different format. The scenario and the situation, everything is so different here. I enjoy every game I play, no matter where I play. Even the game against Gujarat Titans on Sunday was amazing and whenever I get the opportunity for Rajasthan Royals, I enjoy the game and give my 100% each and every time.
Two half-centuries already in the 2023 edition of IPL, reckon this will be your best year yet?
As I said, taking one match at a time at the moment. I am looking forward to the remainder of the season and want to keep trying to do well for my team. I try to keep it simple and don’t complicate it. I want to focus on my process – play hard, fight it out, and try to win.
This season, you have looked very attacking from the word go. Has that been a cautious effort?
Not as such. I don’t get that much time to think. I just look at going and playing and playing according to the feel, the situation, and how the wicket is behaving. All I want to do is keep trying and then see which shots I can play, and which I can avoid. Learning is important.
When it comes to learning, you don’t need to look too far as you open with Jos Buttler. How has that been?
It’s amazing to bat with Jos (Buttler) bhai and I am learning a lot from him. Whenever we are together and batting together, it’s really helpful. We enjoy batting and of course, having him around is really nice. All the players I would say. Sanju (Samson) bhai, Devdutt (Padikkal), or Hettie (Shimron Hetmyer). We have a really good combination and we all believe in each other.
Hetmyer has been a proven finisher for RR now. Picking anything from his power game and range-hitting?
Everyone has their own way to play cricket and I try to do what suits me. Still, there is a lot of learning around and just whatever I can get, whatever suits me, I try to do.
IPL has returned to a home-and-away format this season. How has the experience been to play in front of packed stadiums again?
I think it’s a pleasure to play with the crowd and the people. They support us and they help us to improve as well. If they are there, that’s why we are also here. Thanks to them. They motivate us with support, noise, and cheer. I would love to go there (Sawai Mansingh Stadium) and express myself at home. I am just waiting to go there and play because without the crowd it’s so difficult. With them, the energy, the environment, the craze, everything is just superb. Thanks to the people who love the IPL and allow us to express ourselves and help us to entertain them and improve in the process.
IPL 2023: Purple Cap Complete List of Batters with Most Runs, Check here
With the likes of Trent Boult, Yuzvendra Chahal, and R Ashwin bowling in the nets, does it help get rid of butterflies and nervousness before the game?
Every player does carry some nervousness before every game. It’s however really nice when you are playing great bowlers and you get a lot of confidence but still, there are some butterflies. I feel that is good and it should be there. Those butterflies make me happy to play and I really like to go out there and express myself.
Any one team you desperately want to score against this season?
I just think about doing well for the team. Not one team in particular to be honest. I want to score against everyone.
Kumar Sangakkara, again a left-hander, is in charge of the team. How has it been to share the dressing room with a legend like him?
It’s been wonderful working with someone like Kumar Sangakkara and it has been our pleasure to have him with us. His thoughts, his experience, and the way he thinks about the game, it’s really nice. And learning from him and hearing from him before and after the match, what I should do, what I shouldn’t, everything is so nice. I am just trying to be there, learn as much as I can, and express myself as I said. There is not a lot to say because more I can learn from them and hear from them.
How much are you bowling these days? Have seen you bowl in the club and local matches quite often.
I always try to bowl in the nets and keep improving my leg-spin. I really enjoy bowling whenever I get a chance. Whenever I am bowling in a match, I just want to take wickets and celebrate really nicely.
Any tips from Chahal on wrist position, etc.?
Yes, I keep talking to him. Baat hoti rehti hai unse bhi, For now, koshish jaari hai.