When 21-year-old Yashasvi hit Riley Meredith for a boundary to score her first IPL century recently, except for the entire crowd at Wankhede Stadium and the Rajasthani Royals‘ dug, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who sat in the Mumbai Indians’ dugout, also stood up and applauded Yashasvi’s valiant efforts. Yashasvi took off his helmet, raised his bat and bowed to Sachin and then to the Mumbai crowd.
Although Yashasvi’s first century wasn’t enough to bring RR over the finish line against MI, his batting efforts drew praise from all corners.
Yashasvi was voted Man of the Match for his belligerent 124 on 62 balls, a shot strewn with 16 fours and 8 maximums. The 21-year-old met his state senior and MI and India captain Rohit Sharma after the game and was seen touching his feet. Rohit hugged him tightly and clapped him on the back.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL
Yashasvi credits his success to the guidance he has received over the years from Rohit, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
Yashasvi, whose journey so far has been fascinating, was 11 when he left his home in Suriya village in Uttar Pradesh and traveled to Mumbai. He had to sell pani puris to earn money and lived in tents in Azad Maidan. His quintessential rags-to-riches story has been an inspiration to many.
Being Yashasvi Jaiswal: The incredible journey of a phenomenally talented cricketer
In IPL 2023the southpaw has played 9 matches so far and has scored 428 points at an average of 47.56, including a centenarian and three fiftieth.
Jaiswal was also the best run-getter at the 2020 ICC U-19 World Cup, where India finished second, with 400 runs in 6 runs.
Image credit: PTI
TimesofIndia.com caught up with the young sensation for an exclusive interview to talk about his tremendous IPL 2023 form, his meeting with Sachin and Rohit, his interactions with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, and much more…
Is this Yashasvi 2.0 we see in IPL 2023?
(Laughs) No. I just worked very hard. Every time I go out in the middle, I just focus on the game and play my natural game. If you respect cricket, cricket will respect you – that’s what I believe in and think about when I go out in the middle. This is my own point of view. I don’t like comparisons with anyone. I consider myself a kid who likes to be grounded while chasing my dreams and working hard to achieve them. I just thanked God when I marked the century. I wanted to work on the process and work hard and I knew the results would follow. I keep myself mentally and physically strong, I have worked a lot on my fitness and my diet. I made sure to have a disciplined life on and off the pitch.
Have you made any changes to your hitting technique, style or training this season?
There have been a lot of training and training sessions ahead of IPL 2023. I have been consistent over the past three years, including in domestic tournaments. I practiced a number of shots during this period. During the training sessions, I analyzed the situations and practiced accordingly. I didn’t leave anything out during net sessions or workouts. As they say, practice makes a perfect cricketer. I followed the same path and will continue to do so.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL
You scored your first IPL century against the most successful IPL team – the Mumbai Indians. You played alongside Rohit Sharma in the national circuit. What did captain Rohit say to you after this match?
I have good connection with Rohit bhaiya. I come from Bombay. He comes from Bombay. I played under him and he knows me well. I am much younger than him and I learned a lot from him. After this match, he kissed me and congratulated me. I really enjoyed the rounds and enjoyed talking to him after the game. This round will remain special for me. It was my first hundred IPLs. The first is always special and memorable. It’s something I will always remember.
Were you disappointed to see yourself on the losing side despite a century in this game?
Winning and losing are part of the game. I did my job for the team. A win would have been really good, but we will come back stronger. I just stay positive about myself and my team.
You admire Sachin Tendulkar. We saw him applauding you and interacting with you after this game…
Watching Sachin sir at bat is a blessing. When I was at bat and hit the hundred, everyone cheered me on. The applause and cheers still ring in my ears. I met Mr. Sachin after this blow. He congratulated me and said – ‘Yashasvi, good job, keep doing well’. I received a lot of advice from him and I want to keep it to myself. His advice and guidance helped me get here and has always helped my game. I will also continue to use these tips in my game in the future. Watching him (on the ground) while I beat was so easy on the eyes. My confidence is doubled when I watch Mr. Sachin beating.
Image credit: BCCI/IPL
You also had good interactions with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni…
Virat (Kohli) bhaiya and MS (Dhoni) sir played big roles (in my career). I took advice from them. Their advice helped me a lot. I also followed the advice of Rohit (Sharma) bhaiya. They have all played a lot of cricket and know the game very well. When you talk to them you learn a lot. When you see them on the field, their hitting, their defense, their body language or their movements, their leg movements, the way they move their bat to play a particular shot and the last moment decision making in the selection of strokes, you learn a lot. During the IPL, I had the chance to interact with Virat bhaiya, MS sir and Rohit bhaiya. They all gave me tips for playing cricket. These help me a lot. At Rajasthan Royals, Jos (Buttler) and Sanju bhai (Sanju Samson) – their advice also helped me in my game.
When you sit down and reflect on your journey so far, do you remember your past and the struggles you’ve had to endure?
The past teaches you a lot. A lot of hard work was involved. I did not give up. Everyone knows my story and I learned from it. It’s something that keeps me grounded and keeps pushing myself towards my goals. I only focus on my game and I want to learn every day from every senior player.