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IPL 2022: Royal comeback for Yashasvi Jaiswal as Rajasthan trump Punjab by six wickets


Express News Service

BENGALURU: 20, 1 and 4. Yashasvi Jaiswal’s numbers in the first three matches of the Indian Premier League this season does not justify his talent. The 20-year-old from Mumbai is looked upon as an upcoming Indian player, and why not.  At 17, he became the youngest player to score a List-A double century. But with the quality of Indian players coming up the ranks, there is a serious need for players to be consistent at all levels, including the IPL to catch the attention of the selectors. That is where Jaiswal needed to improve upon.

However, there is no doubt about the talent that exists in his batting and the Royals, who retained him ahead of the IPL 2022 auction, know it fully well.  For a start, giving him the openers role in the first three matches despite having Devdutt Padikkal, a proven IPL opener, shows how much the Royals management hold him in high esteem. But his performance in the initial stages was a disappointment. Jaiswal, who last played more than a month ago, was given another opportunity against Punjab Kings at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Saturday.

In fact, the player only got a chance with middle-order player Karun Nair having failed to make an impression in the last few games. With Jaiswal’s inclusion being the only change, there was pressure on Mumbai’s southpaw. He had to deliver, and the youngster did exactly that with his highest score in the IPL (68) to steer his team to victory by six wickets. If Jaiswal set the platform, Shimron Hetmyer hit three fours and two sixes to finish the job with a 16-ball 31.

With Punjab posting a good score of 189, as an opener Jaiswal did not have to think too much about his approach. It helped him. There were no two ways about it. He had to score at a fair clip, ensuring that the team was off to a flier. He did not take much time to get his A game going. In the third ball of the first over, he cut Sandeep Sharma past point for a four. He followed that up with a six and four, which did his confidence a world of good.

Though in-form Buttler was out for a breezy 16-ball 30, Jaiswal was in no mood to allow the opponents to get into the game. The southpaw, alongside Sanju Samson, dealt in boundaries with constant ease, but the burden shifted to Jaiswal quickly after the skipper was out for 23 in the ninth over.

As Padikkal joined him in the middle, it was a test of character for Jaiswal. The team also expected him to finish the game, but his job was made difficult by the Karnataka batter, who could not find the fence during the middle overs. The pressure multiplied with the required run rate increasing every over, but he did his best, hitting boundaries almost every over before falling in the 15th over. Even after Jaiswal’s wicket, Padikkal was not able to score freely, but Hetmyer helped Rajasthan pick up their seventh win of the season.

Though the major credit for the win will go to Jaiswal and Hetmyer, Yuzvendra Chahal needs a special mention for his three-wicket haul in the first innings, taking his tally to an impressive 22 scalps.

Brief scores: PBKS 189/5 in 20 ovs (Bairstow 56; Chahal 3/28) lost to RR 190/4 in 19.4 ovs (Jaiswal 68; Arshdeep 2/29)

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