The past few weeks have been really happening for one of Rajasthan Royals’ youngest performers, Yashasvi Jaiswal, with the 19-year-old not just getting selected and helping Mumbai beat Oman in a One-Day series, but also having the chance to have a one-on-one session with his idol, the great Sachin Tendulkar.
Speaking after joining up with the Royals’ squad ahead of the IPL, as he quarantines in his hotel room in Dubai, Yashasvi expressed his joy of having spoken and picked the brains of the Indian legend, “My idol has always been Sachin Tendulkar, and I was really fortunate to have a conversation with him before the Oman tour. I was glad that Mumbai Cricket Association invited him for a session before we left from Mumbai to play against Oman.”
“I was over the moon when I first heard he was going to be present there, and when I had the chance to speak to him at length, he was really humble and helped me on some skills where he thought I could improve on. It was good to see that a legend like him was aware of my game, and it was certainly a very happy moment for me. I can’t wait to keep implementing those things in my game and express myself better on the field,” added the youngster from Mumbai.
Reflecting on his recent performances against Oman, Yashasvi said he is happy to have had some cricket under his belt. “It was good practice for me before the big matches in the IPL. It had been a while I had played competitive cricket, and to play against an international team like Oman is certainly good preparation. I’m happy I could score some runs and win some matches for my team.”
A tally of close to 300 runs in the one-day and T20 series combined, including best scores of 90, 82 and 75, Yashasvi says having played in similar conditions to UAE will help him during the IPL. “I had a very good series against Oman and in similar conditions to the UAE. I’m really happy with the way I’m playing my cricket at the moment, and I can’t wait to replicate these performances in the IPL against much stronger line-ups.”
Having had the chance to train during the off-season, Yashasvi utilized the Royals’ state-of-the-art facilities in Nagpur and says he’s improved on some areas. “I did a lot of hard work during the lockdown. I went to Nagpur to train at the Royals Centre of Excellence and we had various sessions which were focused on my fitness, technique, mind, and skills. So, I really want to repay the franchise’s faith by performing and taking my team to the playoffs, and I also believe that if we can play to our full potential, we will be able to win a lot of matches and go a long way in the tournament.”
Another former legend who has helped Yashasvi is the Royals’ Director of Cricket, Kumar Sangakkara, with the youngster giving away information on their chats earlier this year. “We have had so many chats on what I can do during the game – how I should think, what my approach will be against which bowler, how I can change the tempo of the game, etc. So, it has been really amazing to chat with him whenever I have had any doubts, and to know that I have someone who is always so patient and polite with everything that he says, I’m really fortunate to have a mentor like him. I also feel the best thing about him is that he’s always willing to listen and give his time to the players.”
Signing off by expressing his desire to play for India, Yashasvi added, “Of course, I really want to play for my country. I’m working everyday for this huge dream, and I always tell myself that I need to focus on my process, and just be consistent with it. I know if I can play to my potential, good things will happen for me.”