Told to express freely, big-hitting Jaiswal says he tried to punish all loose balls

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Indore, Jan 15 (PTI) Picked to replace the usually swashbuckling but currently out of form Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal made quite a statement with his 34-ball 68 against Afghanistan in the second T20I here and the promising youngster said it was all thanks to the "go out and express yourself" brief from the Indian team management.

The 22-year-old's strokeful knock at the top of the order and Shivam Dube's 63 not out off 32 balls, helped India register a six-wicket series-clinching win here on Sunday as the hosts easily chased down the target of 173 with 26 balls to spare.

"I have been told to go and express myself and I was trying to do that," Jaiswal said at the post-match conference on Sunday night.

"I was trying to punish the loose balls, and was focused to give my team a good start...I was trying to bat as deep as I can. I was trying to keep my strike rate good. I wanted to keep batting with a good strike rate," said the 22-year-old opening batter.

Jaiswal, who has played just four Tests and 16 T20Is, said he has tried his best to do well for the team whenever he has got a chance. He had scored a 60 against South Africa in December last year.

"I keep working hard in my practice sessions and on my process. Whenever I get my chance, I try my best and make sure that I am doing things for the team which is important," he said, trying to give an insight into his thought process.

"I am just trying to show my intent and trying to do well for my team," added Jaiswal who hit five fours and six sixes during his innings last night.

Asked what transpired between him and senior batter Virat Kohli in the middle during a 57-run stand, he said, "It was really nice...Whenever I bat with him, it's an honour.

"Lots of things to learn from him, like we had small chats about where we can hit. We decided that it was easy to hit over long on and mid off and we were trying to do that. The intent was there and the positive vibes were there and we were just trying to hit good shots." Dube, on his part, said he and Jaiswal had planned to finish off the run chase. Jaiswal was, however, dismissed in the 13th over.

"We both are stroke players. He was batting really well. We had a plan that both will be going, so let's finish the match as soon as possible. There was not any target (to finish), but we've finished on time," said Dube, whose 63 not out was decorated with five fours and four sixes.

"There are many things I have worked on. It's not about skill (only)... being focused on every ball is important. I am working on my bowling as well," Dube, who claimed one wicket in the series-opener in Mohali, said. PTI PDS AM PM PM