Yashasvi Jaiswal’s currency lately has been runs, runs, and more runs. A breakout year in the IPL was followed by a call-up to the India squad for the WTC final, and now a debut in West Indies’ longest format. On the eve of the first Test in Dominica, Rohit Sharma put his faith in the Mumbai batsman to deliver and provide India with what they’ve always valued highly – a left-right combo up top.
Jaiswal rewarded the faith invested in him by becoming only the third Indian opener to score a century on Test debut, following Shikhar Dhawan in Mohali in 2013 and Prithvi Shaw in Rajkot in 2018. The 21-year-old, who is now India’s fourth youngest Test centurion, confessed that reaching the milestone was an emotional experience, and pledged to keep going when play resumes on Friday.
“It feels fantastic. [Reaching 100] was an emotional experience. “My batting is still going on, so the effort will be to play for the team as long as possible,” Jaiswal added. “This is the start of my career, so I’ll try to make the most of it and see how focused and disciplined I can be in the future.”
“It was a very emotional experience for me and my family.” And for everyone who has helped me along the way because it has been a long road. I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, and I’d like to dedicate this to my parents because they’ve had a major influence on my life, as well as God. I won’t say much more… I am pleased, but this is only the beginning. “I’ve got to keep up,” he continued.
Rohit had high expectations for Jaiswal and went on to set a record first-wicket partnership for India against the West Indies – 229 runs. Jaiswal would confess via the alliance that he kept chatting to Rohit, picking his brain on how to play at the site.
“I talked to Rohit a lot while batting.” He continued telling me how to hit on this pitch and where the runs will come from. “We had excellent communication,” Jaiswal stated. “He was also talking to me before the game, telling me ‘you have to do it.'” So I started thinking about it and how I should mentally prepare and score runs. So I think I’ve learned a lot from this game, and I’ll strive to maintain doing so in the future.”
“It makes a big difference when our team’s veteran players and legends [like Rohit, Virat, Rahane] sit with you and chat to you… It makes a significant impact since I am constantly learning from them,” Jaiswal remarked.
Even though Jaiswal had a record-breaking day, he still has a lot more in store for him. He is now batting on 143, only 44 runs behind Shikhar Dhawan’s 187, the best individual total by an Indian hitter on Test debut. He is also only 57 runs away from becoming the first Indian batter to score a double century on his Test debut. But numbers aren’t what Jaiswal is thinking about.
“My goal is to get the team off to a good start [on Day 3].” Aside from that, whatever happens happens (approximately 200 times),” he explained.