Awarded Player of the U-19 World Cup, Yashasvi Jaiswal, said that practising on Astro-turf pitches before the tournament helped him immensely on South Africa’s tracks. Jaiswal was also the highest run-getter of the tournament, having scored 400 runs in 6 innings, which includes an unbeaten hundred against Pakistan in the semifinal.
Jaiswal told PTI, “Jwala Sir (his mentor) had told me that you have to go and bag the player of the series award. We practiced a lot on how to play on bouncy tracks. We practiced on how to play short-balls and that helped me.”
“I was either playing or leaving short-balls. There is bounce on astro-turf wickets like how it is there, so I batted on astro-turf wickets and that worked,” said the 18-year-old, who dedicated his player of the series award to his mentor.
Jaiswal said that he has learned how to bat under pressure, and not let the game get the better of him.
“It was a very good experience, to play in a different country, where the wickets were also different. And I enjoyed batting as I was batting for longer duration in the games as well as in the nets. I learned a lot while playing and also learned on how to deal with pressure, as pressure was there during most of the games.”
The left-handed opener’s scores in the tournament were 59 (versus Sri Lanka), 29 not out (versus Japan), 57 not out (versus New Zealand), 62 (versus Australia), 105 not out (versus Pakistan) and 88 (versus Bangladesh).
Jaiswal further credited his opening partner Divyansh Saxena, who gave him the motivation needed to continue.
“Whenever I was in a hurry or went for a big shot, we spoke to each other. At such times, Diyvansh used to tell me ‘keep playing, a lot of time is left in the game, we will score runs’.”
Jaiswal sold pani puris during his early playing days and also lived in a tent. He expressed his gratitude to the junior chief selector Ashish Kapoor who suggested that he open for India in the U19 World Cup.
“All the U-19 selectors helped me a lot. It was because of Ashish Kapoor sir that I was able to open. I would like to thank all the selectors and coaches.”