Yashasvi Jaiswal, the youngest member of India’s Test squad, is set to embark on his first international tour with the senior team for the West Indies series. Although he was part of the World Test Championship final as a traveling reserve, the 21-year-old is hoping to make his international debut in the upcoming matches. Jaiswal boasts impressive numbers in first-class cricket, accumulating 1845 runs in just 15 matches at an average of 80.21, including nine centuries and two fifties, with a best individual score of 265.
While it remains uncertain if Jaiswal will get an opportunity in the two-match Test series, India’s vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane advises the young talent to continue his natural style of play without succumbing to the pressure of international cricket.
“I’m really happy for him,” Ajinkya Rahane expressed regarding Jaiswal’s inclusion. “Exciting talent, did well in domestic cricket for Mumbai and IPL. Most importantly, the way he’s batting in red-ball cricket, he did really well in Duleep Trophy last year.”
Rahane encourages Jaiswal to express himself on the field and play with freedom, emphasizing that it is crucial not to overthink the transition to international cricket. With Cheteshwar Pujara dropped from the squad, the No. 3 spot is up for grabs. Rahane suggests that Shubman Gill, who has previously opened in Test cricket, might fill the vacancy, while Ruturaj Gaikwad, Jaiswal, and Ishan Kishan are also contenders for the opening position alongside Rohit Sharma.
“It’s a great opportunity for whoever is going to play in place of Pujara. I’m not sure who is going to play at No. 3, but I’m sure whoever plays will do very well. All the players are experienced, they’ve been batting well,” Ajinkya Rahane remarked.
The absence of the experienced Mohammed Shami, who has been rested, and Jasprit Bumrah, who is recovering from back surgery, poses a challenge for the Indian team. However, Ajinkya Rahane remains confident in the bowlers’ abilities, noting the presence of senior bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Jaydev Unadkat, along with other experienced members of the squad. Regarding the lack of tour games before the series, Rahane reassures that the team has had sufficient preparation with two-day practice games in Barbados.
Despite rain disrupting their plans, Ajinkya Rahane emphasizes the importance of starting well in Test cricket and maintaining focus on their game plan and strengths while respecting the West Indies team. India’s series against West Indies will commence without the luxury of a tour game, but Rahane believes that their previous preparations and strong mindset will guide them towards success in the Test matches.