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“Superstar” Jaiswal: From the Streets to the Battlefield

VISAKHAPATNAM: After going through homelessness and making a living by hawking snacks on the streets, Indian opener Yashasvi Jaiswal has turned into a national hero after scoring a double century in a Test match against England. In the second game of the highly anticipated series, on Saturday, the 22-year-old converted an overnight 179 into his first double ton, scoring 209 runs.

Jaiswal is an attacking left-hand batsman who gained national attention in his cricket-crazed homeland after an outstanding performance in the Indian Premier League. In the 2019 IPL auction, the Rajasthan Royals acquired him. The previous year, he and England’s white-ball captain Jos Buttler formed a formidable opening partnership, compiling 625 runs at a strike-rate above 163.

With a demanding 387 deliveries in Dominica over more than eight hours at the crease, his 171 on his Test debut against the West Indies last year took the cricket world by storm. With his most recent hit, the cricket community is in awe of the young player. On commentary, former England cricketer Kevin Pietersen referred to Jaiswal as “a superstar.” On the social media platform X, India’s opener Shikhar Dhawan posted, “You beauty, your bat has become a magic wand.” He went on, “Rewriting cricket history, one historic moment at a time.”

Aakash Chopra, a commentator, stated on Friday that Jaiswal was currently “even above Sir Don Bradman” in terms of his statistics for turning fifty-five into hundreds. Jaiswal led India’s innings with his 11th first-class century over 21 matches, with the next best knock being 34. At the age of eleven, he came to Mumbai, the financial capital, without his parents, to pursue his dream of playing for India, a passion he had always cherished. In an interview with AFP in 2020, Jaiswal said, “I used to sleep in a dairy and then stayed at my uncle’s place but it wasn’t big enough and he asked me to find a different place.”

After that, “I started to live in a tent close to Azad Maidan,” an area regarded as the Indian cricket team’s origin, “and would play cricket there during the day.”

Between, he supplemented his side gigs of scoring cricket matches and retrieving balls from club matches with sales of popular street delicacies to earn enough cash for his own meals. At the age of 17 years and 292 days, Jaiswal became the youngest batter to record a domestic one-day double century and subsequently earned a spot in the Mumbai state squad in 2019. -AFP

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