When it comes to U19 World Cups, Indian cricket has the tendency to produce cricketers, earmarked to be the next big thing in the sport, every edition. Be it Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Prithvi Shaw, or Rishabh Pant, each star impressed the pundits during their opportunity to feature in the multilateral tournament.
This time around, Mumbai southpaw Yashasvi Jaiswal hogged all the limelight, this edition of the tournament. Following his glamorous knock against Australia, the left-handed opener left spectators awestruck with his range of shots against Pakistan during his unbeaten knock of 105.
The four-time champions cruised into their seventh final on the back of Jaiswal’s glittering knock, by comprehensively defeating their arch-rivals in the semis.
Jaiswal credited his success to a short video of Rahul Dravid shared by coach Paras Mhambrey. The motivational speech consisted of Dravid dispensing his knowledge on how to keep focus during crunch games.
“Paras Mhambrey sir ensured that everyone took this as any other game. We watched a short video from Rahul (Dravid) sir who motivated us and his words helped us a lot. He said, ‘remember that cricket is played in those 22 yards. Just take it like any other game and keep our focus,” stated Jaiswal, as quoted as saying by Indian Express.
India’s clinical victory should also be attributed to the bowlers who restricted the men in green to 172. Further, opener Divyaansh Saxena’s gritty knock of 59, ensured an Indian victory without losing any wicket.
“This was the first time I experienced what an India versus Pakistan game means. The atmosphere was amazing, people chanting and screaming ‘India, India’. It was a totally different experience. Twice during the tournament, I got out after being set, so I told myself that today I will play over by over. (Divyaansh) Saxena was batting well at other end and it helped ease the pressure off me,” continued the 18-year old.
The likes of Wasim Jaffer also contributed to Jaiswal’s success in the inning by claiming that the key is to rotate the strike and remain unperturbed under pressure.
“I played each ball on merit. I had spoken to coaches here along with captain Priyam Garg and Wasim (Jaffer) bhai. They all said when I feel under pressure, just play out the next few overs. Maiden jaye toh bhi chalega (even if it is a maiden it is fine). Drink water, take singles. If you watched me batting, you will see that between 50 to 60 I took only singles. And the moment I felt ab confidence aagaya hai (I am confident now), I played my shots,” concluded Jaiswal.