How Yashasvi Jaiswal vindicated Dravid's belief in him as all-format opener

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Hyderabad, Jan 26 (PTI) The rollicking 80 that Yashasvi Jaiswal made against England here in the first Test is a validation of the team management’s belief that the left-hander is India’s next all-format opener.

Jaiswal might have used a cliché – intent to play positive cricket – to describe his 74-ball blitz that gave India early momentum against the visitors, but the knock is certain to resonate more deeply within the walls of the dressing room.

“I don’t think it was any tactic (attacking England spinners early on Thursday evening), as I was just thinking to play well against certain balls, play some positive shots,” Jaiswal humbly offered in his post-day press meet on Friday.

But the positive mien Jaiswal showed in snatching the initiative from England would have reminded many of a certain Virender Sehwag, as he made his runs at a strike-rate of 108.

Another school of thought will ascribe that innings to him being a child of the T20 era. Yes, the 22-year-old is a brilliant T20 player as well, but that is taking an easy and lazy route to label an innings that has a whole lot more significance.

Jaiswal was scrupulous in his shot-selection and there was hardly a moment when Jaiswal looked ill at ease in the crease.

His footwork was precise, as he seldom found himself in an ungainly position while executing a shot. It was madness with a method.

Now, roll back the memory to his debut Test hundred against the West Indies last year – a 387-ball 171 that spanned over 501 minutes.

It was a classic Test innings, built with care and patience.

So, now we have two Jaiswal knocks at the opposite ends of the spectrum and that adaptability to the situations makes the Mumbai lad a valuable entity in the eyes of the think tank led by head coach Rahul Dravid and skipper Rohit Sharma.

Jaiswal could have stuck in and nurdled the ball around on Friday morning to get another hundred but he looked to continue his dominance over England bowlers.

But a moment of over-enthusiasm cost him the wicket against Joe Root.

Jaiswal admitted that it would have been nice to get a hundred, but was not a repentant person.

“Yes, it would have been amazing if I scored a hundred but I think what brought me here was my process and thinking,” Jaiswal said, hinting at the desire to follow his natural game.

That path can be fraught with danger, but one Jaiswal is ready to tread.

“I was trying to do my best and sometimes it (playing aggressive cricket) can work well, sometimes it won’t.

"I can commit a mistake and get out but I am trying to make sure that I learn from my mistakes,” he noted.

That thick layer of gray matter between his ears might have prompted Dravid recently to proclaim Jaiswal as the preferred partner of Rohit at the opening slot.

“As of now, we will certainly be opening with Rohit and Jaiswal. We're really happy with what Jaiswal has done as an opener for us. He gives us a left-right combination as well at the top,” Dravid had said.

The judgment of Dravid rarely goes wrong. PTI UNG BS BS