From ‘pani-puri’ seller to emerging star: Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal’s ‘Yashasvi’ journey

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Published: February 5, 2020 1:38:49 PM

Yashasvi amassed 319 runs with 12 wickets in a Giles Shield match and followed that up with another double ton and 12 wicket match-haul. He earned himself a place for the Under-19s tour to Sri Lanka but wasn’t remarkably successful. The good learner in him corrected his mistakes and built upon the experiences garnered in Sri Lanka to emerge as the player of the tournament in the Asia Under-19s cup that followed.

Yashasvi Jaiswal has a habit of making the most of the opportunities he is presented with.

India vs Pakistan U19 World Cup: India sealed a big match against Pakistan with a gigantic six over midwicket. Doesn’t the script sound too familiar? It does. Such has been India’s dominance against Pakistan in recent times from the Under-19 level to the senior level in international cricket. Indian under-19 swashbuckling opener Yashashvi Jaisawal smacked a big six to score a century that will be discussed for a long, long time. The Under-19 world cups have given India many heroes such as Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Mayank Aggrawal, and Prithvi Shaw in the past and the story seems to be no different in the current edition. Another emerging star was born but his story is a bit different.

Yashaswi – the boy who led from the front was the Indian opener with a splendid century. Playing such a high-impact innings against a big team like Pakistan in the semifinal is not everyone’s cup of tea but Yashasvi Jaiswal has a habit of making the most of the opportunities he is presented with. For a boy who once had to sell pani-puri on the streets of Mumbai to survive was a national hero now.

Every young man who plays cricket, albeit, on the street, dreams of playing for India at the international stage but not everyone gets that opportunity. Yashasvi came to Mumbai in hope of playing Cricket but had to deal with the hard reality in the city of dreams. Having no place to stay and money to buy food, life was nothing short of a nightmare for the Bhadohi-born boy. Living in the tents made on the cricket ground for the players, Yashasvi’s summers were quite different from other batsmen, who fought for his life and survival instead of battling to save his wicket.

It turned around for Yashasvi when he got into the reckoning of coach Jwala Gupta on the back of his impressive stroke play on a damp surface against cricketers higher in age. When life started offering him with opportunities, Yashasvi made sure to make the most of it. He amassed 319 runs with 12 wickets in a Giles Shield match and followed that up with another double ton and 12 wicket match-haul. He earned himself a place for the Under-19s tour to Sri Lanka but wasn’t remarkably successful. The good learner in him corrected his mistakes and built upon the experiences garnered in Sri Lanka to emerge as the player of the tournament in the Asia Under-19s cup that followed.

For someone who scrambled at the pani-puri stall and then persisting on his/her dreams requires mental toughness and hunger for success on some other level. Jaiswal’s temperament in the bag match and in the entire tournament has been the testament of the player and character he is.

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