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Match Analysis

Jaiswal takes a big step towards becoming a complete batter

He has not always kept the run-rate up outside the powerplay, but against CSK, he showed he has those gears

Sidharth Monga
Sidharth Monga
27-Apr-2023
Never mind the trendy haircut, Yashasvi Jaiswal looks like a cricketer behind his time. He is slightly built, doesn't have guns for arms, but mostly it is the pads. Heavily padded, they look too big for his frame. And they are held together not by three Velcro straps, but by two buckles each. His frame under the helmet looks like that of Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
On first sight, it looks like he has walked into the wrong format of cricket when he plays the IPL. He is considered a powerplay specialist who doesn't have the power play to clear the field once the fielding restrictions are lifted.
In the numbers, it has become apparent only this year when his role seems to have changed. In his first three years, Rajasthan Royals kind of wanted him to maximise the powerplay and then to keep on taking the risks. In 23 matches before this IPL, Jaiswal had played only 134 balls outside the powerplay.
Now blossoming towards his peak, Jaiswal seems to have been given a more responsible role. Coming into this match, he had played 70 balls outside the powerplay in seven matches this IPL. His strike rate in the powerplay had been 157 but it fell to 116 once the field restrictions were lifted.
A bit of an appreciation for the role clarity and the player's commitment to it. He has scored only seven fifties, today's 77 is his best, and he has never hung in till the death overs. If he is batting after the powerplay, he is looking to score quickly and not go at a run a ball till the death overs.
Jaiswal has hit the most first-over boundaries this IPL, and the second-most since 2021 even though he didn't get all the games in the last two years. His starts have never been a problem; the challenge for him was to find that same efficiency after the powerplay.
In the first over after the powerplay against Chennai Super Kings, Jaiswal pulled out the reverse-sweep for only the seventh time in all IPL matches. The intent was clear, the execution perfect: middle of the bat, flat over point for a six, using all of Ravindra Jadeja's pace. Against the slower Moeen Ali, Jaiswal created his own pace by stepping out and going over extra cover.
The 37 off 22 is the second-highest runs Jaiswal has scored outside of a powerplay. Deep Dasgupta observed on ESPNcricinfo Time:Out that minimising his pre-ball movements might have helped him technically. Dasgupta said that perhaps the movements were not timed perfectly, and that resulted in his being late on balls. Not this year, he said. Tom Moody, another ESPNcricinfo pundit, tweeted Jaiswal is a generational talent.
It helped that CSK bowled spin at him in the middle overs, Eventually, though, a possible pattern repeated itself: he got out against pace in the middle overs. He averages 9 against pace outside the powerplay. Each of his 12 such dismissals have come while trying to hit a boundary.
While he celebrates his second Player-of-the-Match performance this IPL, Jaiswal will be aware that teams will try to explore that pattern again. He and Royals will continue working on it. By no means is Jaiswal a finished product, but he is only 21. He has already shown his improvement in the middle overs. Pace bowlers outside the powerplay are his next big challenge.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo