T20 WC: Mentor Jwala backs Yashasvi to open batting

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | May 08, 2024 IST

Yashasvi Jaiswal

New Delhi, May 8: Should he open the batting? That debate even cropped up when he played for India in the Tests, in veteran Cheteshwar Pujara's absence. But he did open, impressed and fashioned a few memorable wins for Team India.

With he being chosen in India's ICC Men's T20 World Cup squad 2024, the opening issue has again been debated among former cricketers and experts.

But Yashasvi Jaiswal's mentor and childhood coach Jwala Singh believes that the swash-buckling southpaw would love to open the batting for India in the ICC global event, which starts next month.

It's a fact that the two host countries of 2024 ICC T20 World Cup, the West Indies and USA are unknown territories for a majority of players travelling for the tournament, which raises questions regarding the changes required to play at such wickets.

In an exclusive conversation with IANS, Yashasvi Jaiswal's coach, father figure and mentor, Jwala Singh explained why he believes the young Indian prodigy "will be opening the innings," for the Indian side.

The West Indies may not be the most frequent destination for tours and tournaments but is the country where young Jaiswal broke onto the scene for India. The 22-year-old made his debut at the Windsor Park in Rosea, Dominica where he played a stellar 171 runs inning to power India to a dominant victory in a Test match that they won by an innings and 141 runs.

He also boasts a superb record in T20Is, a format in which he has only ever opened as a batsman. In the 16 innings he has played for India, Jaiswal has scored four fifties and one century along with a strike rate of 161.93.

"This debate rang out earlier too in Test cricket when he was going to the West Indies. Many people used to say he would play at number 3 because (Cheteshwar) Pujara was out of the team and that was the only spot. But, I believe when he played, the team management put in much trust in him... Shubman Gill played at the number 3 spot. As far as I know him, I think he would like to open the innings and rest team management, captain, and coaches will decide," Jwala told IANS.

He also went on to talk extensively about how he believes that the Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the major reasons behind the excellent mental development of Yashasvi’s game as it has enabled the explosive left-handed batsman to have "Grown to be quite mature and he (Jaiswal) now knows how to adapt in the different formats of the game and also how to help his team in different situations."

"He certainly took his time in the beginning starting from the Mumbai Indians U-16, India U-19. He scored only 20 runs on his Ranji Debut, and 44 on his Vijay Hazare debut so he surely takes his time. I think ever since he started playing in the IPL, in the last two seasons he has grown to be quite mature and he now knows how to adapt to the different formats of the game and also how to help his team in different situations.

"The World Cup is a huge stage for him and if Ravi Shastri has praised him then he surely must have observed his game before making the comments. I hope, as a coach, father figure and mentor, that he go and play good cricket and end the ICC trophy drought that the Indian cricket team has had. I will be very very happy," he said.

Being an attacking left-handed top order batter, in all probability, Yashasvi would partner either skipper Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli and open the batting for India in the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024.

But whether he opens or not, Indian cricket would be best served, if Yashasvi Jaiswal dominates the bowlers as he usually does, and helps India win the T20 World Cup Trophy again after 17 long years. (With IAS support)

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