Team India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane has expressed his delight at the selection of rising star Yashasvi Jaiswal for the coming series in the West Indies. In a message to the youngster, he told him to be true to himself and not worry too much about international cricket.
Jaiswal was selected for the Indian squad following a number of outstanding games in regional cricket along with the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The left-handed hitter was a standout batsman for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2023, scoring 625 runs in fourteen games at an average of 48.08 and a strike rate of 163.61.
In the vacancy of Cheteshwar Pujara, Jaiswal is a candidate for the No. 3 spot as India prepares to face the West Indies in the opening Test in Dominica on Wednesday. Rahane discussed Jaiswal’s presence in the Indian team in a press briefing prior to the tournament.
“Firstly, I am really happy for him. [He’s a] really exciting talent. He did really well in domestic [cricket] for Mumbai, did well in IPL as well. Most importantly, the way he is batting in red-ball [cricket]… he did well in Duleep Trophy last year. For Mumbai also, his record is really good.”
“My message to him will be just to express his batting, not to think too much about international cricket and all. It’s all about going out in the middle and playing your game. Playing with freedom; that is what is important.”
Jaiswal has 1845 runs at an average of 80.21 in 15 first-class games, including nine centuries. Cricket in the West Indies is now in disarray. Their overall achievement across all mediums has likewise been disappointing. Rahane, on the other hand, made it obvious that India is not taking things easy.
The 35-year-old stated,
“We are not taking West Indies lightly. We don’t know about what people say on the outside, but we do not take any team lightly. Their performance here, especially in Test cricket, has been really good it the last couple of years. Our aim is to back our strengths and play according to the situation and the wicket.”
The senior batter expressed confidence in the team’s training for the Test series. Rahane said,
“We played a two-day practice game, it was really good. Preparation wise, we covered all the areas. We had very good preparation in Barbados. It’s all about starting well in Test cricket. We respect West Indies and we know every Test match is really important for us. What is important to is focus on our game plan, our strengths and keep backing our team plan.”
Following the Dominica match, the second Test will be held in Trinidad from July 20 to 24 at Port of Spain.