Yashasvi Jaiswal: 'I don't want to always score in one way. I want to have options to score in all situations'
The Rajasthan Royals opener talks about all the work he has put into his game, and what he has learnt from his time at the franchise
No doubt it gives a lot of confidence and satisfaction. I am proud of myself, I'm happy that I've got something from whatever work I've put in. It's a good feeling to go out there and score runs and enjoy the moment, because that's what we play for, to win, to enjoy, to feel [good].
It was a great feeling and I was really emotional, but at the same time I was energetic also. I just thanked God and I remember my parents whenever I make centuries. It was really emotional because it was my first really good score in Mumbai, and [it's] from where I belong. It's so close to me - Mumbai, the Mumbai team, Mumbai cricket. It was 100% special for me. I always wanted to score a hundred in IPL, and I still want to [score more].
No, not for this one. They came for the last one, in Jaipur. It was the first match my entire family came to watch. I was really happy that they came. It was a really proud moment for me and my family.
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Just hard work. Simple. I have put in a lot and not just in the last year. I have been practising all these shots for the last three years, working on my mindset with Zubin Bharucha sir [strategy, development and performance director at Rajasthan Royals]. We have worked a lot together. We had an amazing time, we had ups and downs, we had failures and success but still kept going and doing the same things we had been doing for a long time.
I went to four different places - Guwahati, Rajasthan, Mumbai and the [Royals] academy. We knew that this time we were going to play in different grounds, environments, weather and wickets. Zubin sir wanted me to get an idea of all those places - the wicket, the bounce and everything. It really helped because this year we have been travelling and playing in different places. For me, it's the first such year to do that, since the last two-three years we played under Covid procedures. This is something new and really special for me and I really like playing like this.
To be consistent [on the field], I need to be consistent outside. How I prepare, how I leave [the ball], how I recover, and how I'm dealing with injuries, everything plays a role because I have been playing a lot of cricket. I should be really careful about what I'm eating and how much I'm sleeping and training. Everything is important. All the small aspects of mental stability, mental strength. I always work on my mind a lot, because everyone says it's a mental game.
I just play the ball. I have practised a lot for different fields. I know where I can score big runs and where I should take more chances. It's just skill and a tactics game in cricket. I will keep searching for different shots and trying different things all the time.
I just practise a lot. That's the simple way to improve any skills because if I have good practice, confidence comes from it.
I don't think I prepare for a bowler, I just prepare for that ball, and I need to prepare for that situation, that bounce, that speed. That's all I do. I just need to be really clear in my mind that if it's a bad ball, I need to punish it, and if it's a good ball, I need to respect it. Or [think of] how I can convert it into a single or a boundary or a six. That's all I think about - the ball, where I can play it, which shot I can play. I don't see anything else.
There are a lot of things we can do, like I practise a lot to play swing, because it helps me play swing in a match. Then I water cement pitches and practise with a rubber ball, trying different shots. I practise a lot with the new ball for bouncers and swinging balls. How much practice I do with the new ball really helps me because I need to play the new ball all the time [in matches]. Earlier I used to practise with the rubber ball more, but now it's a combination of practice sessions - sometimes with the synthetic ball, sometimes plastic, sometimes against the sidearm, sometimes throwdowns. It's not like I'll do just one thing. And I don't want to be in that situation where I will score in one way; I want to prepare myself in such a way that I have options to score in all situations for my team.
It's something I keep working on. I work on my running. While fielding, I do sprints. I try to maintain my intensity, I work a lot on my strength sessions, recovery, food. All of it makes me really focused.
I've worked on my body overall. Since I open the batting, I mostly need to know how to time the ball, but if I'm batting towards the end, I should be able to hit as well. So I'm working on myself for the last few overs as well, because the ball gets older, the field settings change and you have to bat accordingly. The game keeps changing, so after seeing and assessing the scenarios, I try to prepare myself for all such situations.
He is a really nice and open person. Whatever you ask him, he will explain it to you really nicely and patiently. He is an amazing person. Like a brother, you can go ask him anything and he will guide you properly.
Not just him, many people have told me that intent is very important in T20 cricket. Your intent and tempo should always remain high. That's what I try to do. There's only one thing on my mind and that is what my team needs and I need to play like that. That's in all formats, even in Tests, one-dayers or T20s.
It's just mindset. It's just like you switch on the light, switch off the light. It's simple. I don't make it complicated. If I know I need to do it, I need to do it.
You can ask anyone throughout India about that (laughs). As a habit, I practise so much that I have to be taken out of the nets. I enjoy it. I don't do it to show anything to anyone, I play for my own enjoyment. I know that the more I practise, the closer I will get to achieving my dreams. That's the only thing that I trust - that I'm on the right path. I believe in this, in myself, in my game, that's what I aim for, and the rest will happen as it has to happen.
Niggles are always around. If I play 2000-odd balls, all this will happen. It's a human body after all, these kind of things and pains will be there. I'm used to it. I like this pain; if it's paining and I'm doing well, I'm happy.
I won't say it's natural. I have developed it gradually over time. It's not like you come and play and you're so talented and it will happen like that. I have worked on each and every kind of ball, I have worked on different types of shots - it's literally hard work.
I'm also very grateful that in this amazing franchise, they do everything for me. I can go and practise and train, I can consult a mental coach or S&C [strength and conditioning] or a physio… everything. Especially Zubin sir, what he's done for me is incredible. There are no words to explain that. Wherever I went to train, he was with me.
It's a totally different game, mindset. You have to play for four days, bat the whole day, field for 100-150 overs after batting. And it's not like the intensity reduces while fielding. It has to remain high at this level. I have got the experience [to know] about what I can do, what I cannot, how I should prepare, how I should not. I keep learning. I really want to learn all the time. I'm curious, asking seniors all the questions I can ask to get an idea about different situations, grounds, wickets. As much information I can get, that would be amazing for my mind and my cricket.
Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo