Consistent scores in inter-school cricket and an exposure tour with former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar’s academy to England saw him break into the Mumbai under-16 side, and from then on, he kept climbing up the ladder rapidly.
In February 2020, Jaiswal took the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa by storm, rattling off five fifties. His scores read: 88, 105*, 62, 57*, 29*, 59 as he finished the tournament as the highest run-getter (400 email@example.com) and with the ‘Player of the Series’ trophy in his kitbag.
Just before that, in December 2019, the Rajasthan Royals bought him for Rs 2.4 cr at the IPL auction. After three IPLs with the franchise, which is known to invest in budding cricketers, the 21-year-old is coming off age in grand style.
His blistering 62-ball 124-run knock against the Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night may have ultimately come in a losing cause, but Jaiswal won plenty of hearts with his scintillating strokeplay. That he was losing partners regularly at the other end didn’t seem to bother him, though he did look a bit perturbed after being caught and bowled by Arshad Khan off a high full toss that he seemed to feel was a no ball.
On a night when RR’s big guns Jos Buttler, skipper Sanju Samson and Shimron Hetmyer all seemed to be struggling for timing, Jaiswal was on fire, contributing 124 out of his team’s total of 212.
“It has to be the best batting performance from a young Indian batter in the history of the IPL. We have seen Manish Pandey get a hundred; he was very young at that time. But to just see him bat, the size of his own score vis-a-vis his team’s score. That’s also a big parameter. One individual scoring more than half of the team’s score is a breakthrough innings. One batter for Rajasthan Royals contributed,” praised former India batsman-turned commentator Sanjay Manjrekar on Star Sports.
Jaiswal is now the fifth Indian uncapped player to have hit a century in the IPL. However, this scintillating knock was just his maiden hundred in the IPL. It was a solid statement from the prodigiously talented youngster.
The buzz around over his impending selection in the Indian team is getting louder and louder. In fact, it should now be a matter of time before he wears the blue shirt.
This is turning out to be a breakout IPL season for the left-handed opener. In 9 games so far, Jaiswal has cracked 428 firstname.lastname@example.org at a phenomenal strike rate of 159.70, and at the time of writing this, is the ‘Orange Cap’ holder for being the highest run-getter. He has smashed 56 fours-the most by anyone in this edition, besides tonking 18 sixes-8 of which came off his marauding blade on Sunday night.
Even though his team was at the receiving end of his sizzling blade, MI skipper Rohit Sharma was effusive in his praise for Jaiswal. “I watched him (Jaiswal) last year, he’s taken it to the next level. I asked him ‘where did you get the power from’. He said he’s been going to the gym, that’s good for him, India and RR,” Rohit said at the post-match presentation.
Just after slamming his first IPL ton, Jaiswal thanked RR coach Zubin [Barucha for helping him out with his batting. “I enjoyed everything about my innings, I was thinking and doing everything right, while factoring the bowlers and field settings. I’ve worked a lot on his batting with Zubin sir. It’s a special innings and I’look to keep going. I wasn’t thinking of wickets and looked to focus on keeping the run rate high and get boundaries,” he said.
Talking about what mantra he has passed on to Jaiswal for this IPL season, Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, Director of Cricket at Royals, said, “[Our conversations are] about playing good shots, trusting his ability and reading the game situation really well. And when he does get a start, about maximising [his stay] and to keep that intent going throughout the innings. Before this season he hadn’t batted much outside the powerplay. But today and in the previous game, he showed that when he keeps his intent going and is looking for boundaries and knows his scoring areas, he has the ability to play the big innings for us.”
“When I completed my century, I didn’t know whether the ball went to the boundary. So, I thanked God for everything. That was the highlight. Days like this definitely can happen. I want to focus on the process and work hard, and have the belief. I have been positive and am maintaining a good, fit lifestyle which is helping,” Jaiswal said.