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IPL 2022: Yashasvi Jaiswal shows why he is one of Rajasthan Royals’ long-term investments – Firstcricket News, Firstpost

The selection of Yashasvi Jaiswal in the XI against Punjab Kings was a kind of a desperate call by the Rajasthan Royals think-tank. Coming into this crucial mid-table clash on the back of two successive defeats against Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders, the Royals were needed to readdress their gameplan, especially on the batting front. They wanted to reduce their overdependency on Jos Buttler at the top but the inconsistent form of Devdutt Padikkal was not helping the cause.

In came Jaiswal in the scheme of things.

Dropped earlier in the season after three below-par performances, the young top-order batter was sidelined to accommodate Paddikal at the opening slot where he had success for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the previous seasons. But when the move started to backfire, the management decided to put faith in their first-choice option, which was always Jaiswal.

Burst into the scenes following an eyebrow-raising campaign with the India Under-19 team in the 2020 edition of the U-19 World Cup in South Africa, Jaiswal has been around in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for a couple of seasons now. The left-handed opener never took the tournament by storm but in a short time he became an integral part of the core group of this Rajasthan team, courtesy his impactful performances.

Rajasthan Royals opener Yashasvi Jaiswal raises his bat in celebration after scoring a fifty against Punjab Kings. Sportzpics

In IPL 2021, a 19-year old Jaiswal showed glimpses of his destructive abilities in several cameos while batting at the top, especially his 19-ball 50 against Chennai Super Kings in Abu Dhabi — which included an incredible assault against one of the best bowlers in the competition, Josh Hazlewood (38 off 12 balls) — earned the young batter a lot of praise.

In that season he scored 249 runs in 10 innings with a strike-rate of 148.21 and his hard work was acknowledged by the Rajasthan management with the decision of retaining Jaiswal in the squad alongside Buttler and Sanju Samson ahead of the mega auction this year.

Backing a young player at such a nascent stage of his career is an exhibition of the faith. In fact, he was one of only four uncapped players to be retained ahead of the mega auction. It also shows that Jaiswal is one of Rajasthan’s long-term investments and how highly they rate him.

His well-composed 40-ball 68 in a high-pressure run-chase on Saturday, further justifies his talent.

On his return to the side, Jaiswal had a point to prove. He hardly got going in the three games he played at the start of the season, scoring 20 off 16, 1 off 2 and 4 off 6 balls. Despite that, in his comeback game, the youngster didn’t waste any time. He took the strike against Sandeep Sharma in the first over and was quickly off the block — hitting the bowler for two fours and six.

There was no indecisiveness in his approach. And when Buttler was dismissed following a quick-fire 16-ball 30, it was Jaiswal who kept the boundaries coming and did not let the Punjab bowlers breathe easy.

Jaiswal is a natural timer of the cricket ball and has some exquisite shots in his armory, especially on the off side. He knows his game pretty well too, hence his focus during batting always remains on playing good cricketing shots instead of going for risky options like scoops or switch-hits.

Most importantly, much like any aggressive modern-day T20 opener, he can go after the bowling right from the word go, which can actually be a perfect foil to Buttler’s no-holds-barred approach considering the role of anchor-type batters (like Paddikal) are gradually becoming obsolete in the shortest version of the game. Now-a-days you need players who can put pressure on the bowling from both ends.

Jaiswal struck nine fours and two sixes in his knock and when he got out Rajasthan were well on course to chasing down the 190-run target — needing 49 off 34. This was an ideal set-up for Shimron Hetmyer to come in and provide the finishing touch, which he did to take his team home with two balls to spare.

At 20, Jaiswal is still a work in progress but there is little doubt following Saturday’s performance that the young left-hander from Mumbai is set for a lengthy run at the top of the Royals line-up.

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