While Yashasvi doesn’t emulate Sehwag’s habit of humming Bollywood tunes while hitting gigantic maximums, the 21-year-old exhibits a similar aggressive approach while batting.Whether in Tests or T20Is, the left-handed batsman remains calm but his approach is quite similar to the former India swashbuckling batsman who set the standards for scoring at a brisk pace from the very start of an innings.
During the recent second T20I against Australia in Thiruvananthapuram, Yashasvi, who scored a quickfire 21 off 8 balls in the opening match of the series, initially aimed to find the boundaries early on. However, the sluggish nature of the pitch thwarted his plans to go big, forcing him to settle for singles.
He patiently bided his time. Then on the eighth delivery he faced, the Mumbaikar stepped forward and played a cracking lofted extra cover drive off Glenn Maxwell.
The aggression was quite evident in Yashasvi’s eyes and once he found his momentum, there was no stopping him. He scored a rollicking 25-ball 53 and, after the match, he said that being “fearless” while playing his natural game is his mantra for success.
Is Yashasvi going the Sehwag way?
Yashasvi’s coach and guardian Drink Singh says his ward is an upgraded version of the former swashbuckling batsman Sehwag.
“He’s not only his version, he’s the upgraded version of Virender Sehwag. Sehwag of course is a very big player. When Sehwag was playing, there was not much T20 cricket. If you compare the amount of T20 cricket we play today to the ten years back, there’s a lot of difference. Yashasvi is an upgraded version of Virender Sehwag because he plays all kinds of shots with very proper technique,” coach Jwala told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his half century during the second T20I. (PTI Photo)
“Sehwag used to have hand and eye coordination, but if you see Yashasvi, he utilises his foot well, and his balance and posture when he plays the shots are remarkable. Sehwag used to look up to Sachin Tendulkar. He also, in fact, said this many times that he tried to hit the ball as Sachin paaji do,” he added.
“Yashasvi has a knack for multiple players. If you see his square cut, he hits like Sourav Ganguly. His offside game is like Sourav Ganguly. And his pull and cut are like Virender Sehwag. He is a mixture of the two legends – Sehwag and Ganguly. He is a fearless and upgraded version of Virender Sehwag. He plays shots fearlessly and attacks. He does not think about his wicket like a lot of people – start building the innings and they get a good start,” the coach said.
Yashasvi’s art of shifting focus & temperament
Yashasvi made his international debut in July earlier this year when he was picked to play the two-match Test series against the West Indies. After India bowled West Indies out for 150, Yashasvi opened the innings alongside captain Rohit Sharma and smashed a brilliant 171 off 387 balls, a patient knock that was studded with 16 fours and a six. He was declared as Man of the Match in his maiden Test outing.
After smashing a 53 off just 25 balls, Yashasvi’s temperament was applauded by many, and the youngster was termed as an ‘all format’ player.
Coach Jwala explained how Yashasvi mastered the art of shifting focus and temperament from one format to another.
Yashasvi Jaiswal plays a shot during the second T20I. (PTI Photo)
“When I spotted Yashasvi in 2013, I was really impressed with his temperament. There are so many players who bat well but very few people know how to deliver well when there are different challenges. He has a very good brain-shifting. He knows how to hit the ball in T20 cricket and stay on the wicket when it comes to Test cricket. And his training is being done in that way,” Jwala said.
“When I was training him, I used to take him and make him play on different wickets. Sometimes I used to make him play on rough surfaces and give him a particular target. That’s how he learned to play on the rough surface. I used to tell him to hit just sixes on different surfaces. So, his preparation is being done very differently and that’s why he knows how to shift his brain according to the situation and according to the format of the game,” he said.
Yashasvi – A T20 World Cup contender?
With this whirlwind knock and some impressive knocks in the IPL, the 21-year-old has thrown his hat in the ring for next year’s T20 World Cup.
His name might do the rounds when the selectors would sit and pick the team for the mega tournament, to be hosted by the West Indies and the United States from June 4 to June 30.
“It’s totally up to the selectors because they know the best, who is capable of playing and where. We have faith in selectors and BCCI. But again if you see Yashasvi’s current form, he has performed everywhere. He started from the IPL, then he played Test cricket, he scored 170 plus over there, then he played Ireland T20s. He played in the West Indies also,” the coach said.
“BCCI has supported him since childhood, during the U19 cricket and now in senior cricket. They know how to groom a player like Yashasvi and I’m totally hopeful that they will look at him, his current performance and if they feel that he fits in the setup and system, definitely they will pick him,” Jwala signed off.
India vs Australia, 2nd T20I: Australia lose two quick wickets chasing 236
Watch Yashasvi Jaiswal – A mixture of Virender Sehwag and Sourav Ganguly