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News

Jaiswal wants to 'double it up and keep going'

The India opener made his career-best score - 179 not out - on the first day of the second Test against England

India are propped up on Yashasvi Jaiswal's shoulders, the 22-year old opener making more than half of their runs (179*) on day one of the Visakhapatnam Test.
The head coach Rahul Dravid had asked for big hundreds in the aftermath of the loss in Hyderabad and Jaiswal delivered at the first time of asking, but the rest of his team-mates were unable to back him up. The next highest score in the innings so far is Shubman Gill's 34. The partnerships for the first five wickets put on at least 40, but the highest was only 90. England did not let India off the hook all through the day and with a couple of late wickets - Axar Patel and KS Bharat mirror-imaging each other in their dismissals, left- and right-handers, cutting balls to point - the score at stumps was 336 for 6.
The pitch might have had something to do with that. "Initially the wicket was a little bit damp and there was spin and bounce and even the ball was seaming also," Jaiswal told the host broadcaster after the first day's play.
This prompted him to be careful, but also be on the lookout for scoring opportunities. "I had in my mind that I had to play session by session. I was just trying to make sure that if they are bowling well that I just made sure that I play that spell.
"When I was in the middle in the afternoon, the wicket was a bit settled. But when the ball got older and older, there was a bit of spin and bounce also they were getting. And I was just thinking how to manage the shots, what I can play and how I can play till the end as Rahul sir and Rohit bhai, they keep giving me messages, like need to convert it big and make sure you are playing till the end.
"I would love to double it up and make sure I just keep going and make sure I play till the end for my team and I will try my best tomorrow."
Jaiswal's team-mates understand how big of an innings he has played, and also that they haven't given him enough support. The debutant Rajat Patidar looked quite solid for his 32 off 72 balls and enjoyed a particularly thrilling spell of play where he reverse swept Joe Root from the stumps for four and then drove him inside-out through cover for another four. The 30-year old looked the part in his first innings in international cricket, playing with soft hands and with purpose, but fell, a little ironically, when one ball dribbled back after he defended it with those same soft hands and hit his stumps.
"If I say my innings, it was good but I have to make it big," Patidar said in the post-match press conference. He has been playing first-class cricket since November 2015, but was philosophical about how opportunities to play for the Test team don't come around too often. "Waiting for so long is common in Indian cricket. There are lot of players. I was just focussing on things that are in my hands. So year at the age of 30 I came here, feeling pretty good."