Dominica’s Roseau is located on the Caribbean island of Dominica. London is a city in England. Bhadohi is a small town in Uttar Pradesh, India—three completely distinct sceneries. Three timezones can be terrifying for even the most passionate traveler. On Thursday, though, they had a similar thread. Yashasvi Jaiswal is a 21-year-old Indian cricketer.
When Yashasvi half-swept, half-flicked, or half-swatted West Indies off-spinner Alick Athanaze and rushed towards the non-striker’s end to complete the most vital run of his career thus far, it was around 11:30 p.m. in India. Yashasvi’s father, Bhupendra, owns a small paint business in Bhadohi and is up beyond bedtime. But seeing his kid become the first Indian opener to record a Test century away from home on debut was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. He watched his younger son’s movements on a slow and sluggish surface at Windsor Park.
“Neeli jersey pehen ne ka intezar thha bas (We all waited for him to wear the blue Indian jersey),” Bhupendra explained. Yashasvi proved his worth not in blues but in whites, possibly the most challenging color to earn in international cricket.
Since India skipper Rohit Sharma confirmed Yashasvi’s debut three days ago, the Jaiswal household has had an odd sense of serenity. The situation did not improve much after the left-hander etched his place in Indian cricket history. “He has struggled a lot,” Bhupendra couldn’t say anymore, but in his head, the sound of dreams colliding with reality pierced the night’s calm. Yashasvi’s sacrifice, the nights he spent in improvised tents in Mumbai, and the hard work he put in while rising through the ranks of junior cricket, India U19, India A, and finally winning the Test cap, seemed worthwhile.
The scenes in Roseau were drastically different. Yashasvi soared, removed his helmet, kissed the symbol, and bowed to the Indian dressing room after a long grind of 215 balls. Head coach Rahul Dravid, talisman Virat Kohli, and every other member of India’s visiting team stood and applauded.
Yashasvi didn’t give himself much time to process everything.
Yashasvi gave himself little time to take it all in. He turned and dashed at Rohit Sharma. A hearty hug from the skipper, one of 16 Indians to have experienced the thrill of a debut Test century, was probably on his must-do list. For once, he could be pardoned for acting his age. For nearly three sessions, he had demonstrated maturity, patience, and perseverance far beyond that of a 21-year-old.
Away from all of this, another eruption of emotions occurred in London at around 7 p.m. Jwala Singh, Yashasvi’s boyhood coach and local guardian in Mumbai, was waiting for his return trip to India at Heathrow Airport. Singh witnessed his ward’s exploits while juggling online streaming and live scorecards.
“I figured he’d get off to a good start. He has had four successful seasons in both the IPL and domestic cricket… He has faced most of the world’s best bowlers under duress, particularly in the IPL. So he knows how to deal with top-tier bowlers. “Whether it’s a T20, ODI, or Test, there will always be nine fielders,” Singh told Hindustan Times from London.
Yashasvi’s knock, on the other hand, was nothing like the ones he played in the IPL. He took 17 deliveries to get off the mark in the first Test after having a 13-ball fifty in the IPL.
Ajinkya Rahane, India’s vice-captain for this series, stated in his lone message to the youngsters in the Test team traveling to the Caribbean islands for the first time, “You have to be very patient in these conditions.” “Running is not easy.”
Yashasvi obeyed it like a good learner. He must gain the quality to exploit the conditions with Rahkeem Cornwall, Jomel Warrican, and part-timers Kraigg Brathwaite and Alick Athanaze, West Indies. Still, for a debutant, the way Yashasvi curbed his instincts and dealt in ones and twos – he took 63 singles, 12 doubles, and hit only 14 fours in his 350-ball stay until the end of Day 2 – spoke volumes about his mental strength.
Yashasvi finished the second day of play unbeaten on 143. He batted for over four sessions, putting India on track for an innings victory. Apart from breaking his records, Yashasvi and captain Rohit put on a 229-run opening stand, the greatest by an Indian opening pair against the West Indies.
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