Connect with us


Yashasvi Jaiswal’s 700: Sunil Gavaskar finally has some company

The only Indian to score 700 runs in a series so far was Gavaskar and on Thursday, the club finally expanded to two

A wristy flick against Shoaib Bashir’s flighted off-break raced to the midwicket boundary and took Yashasvi Jaiswal to 46 runs. The moment passed by quietly but a significant milestone was achieved nonetheless with that lovely shot against the turn – Jaiswal’s run-tally for this series reached 701.

India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his half-century on Day 1 of the 5th Test match against England, at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, in Dharamsala on Thursday(ANI )

Before Thursday, Sunil Gavaskar, incidentally in the commentary box at HPCA Stadium, was the only Indian to have amassed 700-plus runs in a Test series – he did it twice against West Indies (1971 and 1978-79). On day one of this fifth and final Test, Jaiswal also became the fastest Indian to 1000 Test runs (in terms of matches, having played 9 Tests), eclipsing a record belonging to Gavaskar and Cheteshwar Pujara (11 Tests each). In terms of innings, only Vinod Kambli (14 innings) has got to 1000 faster than Jaiswal’s 16.

Hindustan Times – your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

A look at the list of batters who have reached the 700-run mark in a series shows that luck doesn’t play a role here. From Bradman’s table-topping 974 runs to Viv Richards’ 829 – the names speak of quality, class and the rare ability to make a series their own. Each member of this elite group of 35 players has had a great impact on the sport as a whole and India will hope Jaiswal manages to keep the tradition going.

The ease with which Jaiswal, 22, peppered the boundary on Thursday was in sync with the oomph he has exhibited all through the home series. Yes, a rush of young blood eventually resulted in Jaiswal’s stumping off Bashir after making a breezy 58-ball 57, but these are minor concerns about a left-handed batter who there’s a lot to like about.

Again in his innings on Thursday, what came through was the clarity about his template. Not until the eighth over did Jaiswal hit a boundary, moving along steadily to six runs off 25 balls even as Rohit Sharma got the scoreboard moving with a few sumptuous strokes. But once Bashir was brought on, Jaiswal was able to flick the switch ever so quickly and hit the rookie off-spinner for three sixes in an over.

Jaiswal’s six-hitting prowess is worth harping on. In nine Tests, he has already smashed 29 sixes, showing a fearless propensity to take the aerial route. It’s a skill he has honed by playing in the IPL, where he has ownership of the record for the fastest fifty (13 balls) in addition to a turbo-charged 124 off 62 balls. As Rajasthan Royals’ high-performance director Zubin Bharucha said recently, Jaiswal has spent many hours working on his power-hitting game.

Instead of limiting these shots to the shortest version, Jaiswal is using them to equally devastating effect in white flannels too. Recall his merciless assault against James Anderson in Rajkot, when he showed scant regard for a bowler almost twice his age by dispatching a weary red ball over backward square leg, deep cover and down the ground for three straight sixes.

That Jaiswal – a Gen-Z graduate of the famed Mumbai school of batting – should have such a productive series in the infancy of his Test career also speaks volumes about his appetite. His booming drives and big shots are eye-catching, but don’t underestimate his ability to concentrate for long hours. If he didn’t have that, he wouldn’t have been able to register three scores of 150-plus in nine Tests including two double centuries in this series. In his maiden Test innings against West Indies in the Caribbean, he consumed 387 balls to make 171 while spending a little more than eight hours at the crease.

In this series too, examples are available of the various gears that Jaiswal can operate at. The first innings of the Ranchi Test is a case in point. On a day two surface where the ball was keeping low now and then, he was able to temper his flair for a 117-ball 73 and play a big part in whittling down the deficit.

While Ben Duckett made the pompous claim that Jaiswal may have been inspired by England’s batters on his way to a double century in Rajkot, it is the young Indian opener that the visitors can glean lessons from. It could be that Duckett was being tongue-in-cheek, but Nasser Hussain, a former England captain, provided the appropriate riposte.

“He (Jaiswal) has not learnt from you. He’s learnt from his upbringing, all the hard yards he had to put in growing up. If anything, lads, look at him and learn from him. I hope there’s a little bit of self-introspection going on. Otherwise it becomes a cult, and at times Bazball and this regime has been described as such, where you cannot criticise within or externally,” Hussain had said on Sky Sports after the Rajkot Test.

Jaiswal, of course, will face tougher challenges away from home, starting later this year when India tour Australia for a five-match series. The series against South Africa two months ago was already an early reality check as Jaiswal managed only 50 runs across four innings on green pitches. That shouldn’t dim the excitement though about a precocious talent already setting high benchmarks.


Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Must See

More in News