On the opening day of the national championship final against Madhya Pradesh at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here, Jaiswal top-scored for Mumbai with 78 off 163 balls, as his team finished at 248 for five. Though he missed out on scoring his fourth consecutive First-Class hundred, he continued his dream run which has seen him notch up scores of 35 & 103 in the quarterfinals against Uttarakhand, and 100 & 181 in the semifinals against Uttar Pradesh.
“I think I’m blessed. I have really worked hard. I trust my skills in every way. I was waiting for the opportunity, that whenever I get a chance, I’ll score runs,” said Jaiswal after the day’s play. The 20-year-old has done well to adjust from white-ball to red-ball formats in quick time.
A similar story unfolded in his case in IPL 15 for the Royals. “The same happened in the IPL. I got three games, was out, and came back into the side after seven games. But through all these gaps, I had it in my mind that I needed to work hard and be disciplined. Working hard every day is important, because that is what will make me consistent. When I was out every day I was working with Zubin sir (Zubin Bharucha, director of cricket at RR). He kept me motivated all the time,” he explained.
He credited Mumbai coach Amol Muzumdar too for helping him mount a stunning comeback in the Ranji Trophy this season. “Amol sir has been with us for the past six months. He was just telling me: ‘Just be in your shape. You’re doing really well. Whenever you get a chance, try to be there for the team and make it count.”
On Tuesday, the Mumbaikar crossed the 500-run mark in the Ranji Trophy in four matches-497 in three games this [email protected], in a tally which includes three centuries and a fifty. The left-hander has shown the ability to play as per the team’s needs. “I’m trying to stay at the wicket for as long as possible. Like in the last match, I took 54 balls to score my first run. At that time, there was just one thing in my mind, that the longer I am at the wicket, the more it will help my team,” he said.
“I didn’t know that I could’ve broken the record (the longest time taken by a batsman to score their first run) had I played (a dot) off one more ball. However, the bowler bowled on the leg-stump and I got four off it! Later, a commentator told me that I missed out on the record by one ball,” he grinned.
Was he unhappy to miss out on his fourth FC ton on the trot. “Yes, I’m a bit sad about it, but this is cricket. You’ve to experience both ups and downs, and that’s something I’ve learnt by now, because in cricket, things won’t go your way every time, but I’m trying my best to improve myself as a cricketer and as a human being,” he said.
Talking about his half-century, he said: “Early in the first session, the pitch was pretty damp, and it was easier to hit the spinners, but not the pacers. So, whenever left arm spinner (Kartikeya Singh) was in action, I was able to score off him, but not the seamers. That was my game plan. I discussed my plan with Shaw bhai. It wasn’t an easy wicket,” he stressed.
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