Prior to Sunday (January 14th), Yashasvi Jaiswal and Virat Kohli had never batted together in a T20 encounter, but chasing 173 against Afghanistan in Indore, the duo proved to be quite the pairing as they added together 57 runs off just 28 balls to break the back of the chase.
Nearly everyone is accustomed to seeing Jaiswal explode from ball one, but at the Holkar Stadium, Kohli gave his junior partner a run for his money as he took the attack to the bowlers from the get go to post an electric 16-ball 29 to mark his return to the T20I side.
Kohli and Jaiswal have now batted together twice in international cricket, and both times they’ve managed to post 50+ run stands, with their first partnership together being a 110-run stand against West Indies at Windsor Park last year.
At the press conference post the second T20I, Jaiswal asserted that he is always ‘honored’ to bat together with Kohli and revealed the plans the duo made to pick apart the Afghan bowling.
“I think it was really nice, going there and enjoying the game. I’m honored to bat with Virat bhaiya. I learn lots of things whenever I bat with him,” Jaiswal said at the press conference.
“When we were batting together, we had small chats as to which areas we could potentially target. We figured out that it was quite easy to hit over long on or mid-off, so we were trying to do that.
“The intent was there, the positive vibe was there. We were just trying to hit good shots.”
Jaiswal missed the first T20I in Mohali with a groin niggle but returning to the side in Indore, in place of Shubman Gill, he played yet another game-defining knock at the top of the order, 68 off just 34 balls. 39 of the 64 runs came in the powerplay and he pretty much killed the chase in the first six overs.
When asked what his role in the side is, Jaiswal revealed that the management have given him just one instruction - which is to go and express himself.
“I have been told to go and express myself and try to do what I do,” Jaiswal said.
“My aim is to keep working hard during practice sessions and follow the process. Whenever I get a chance, I try my best and make sure that I’m doing things which are important to the team. I try to play with intent and try to do the best for the team.”
The 22-year-old also gave a sneak peek into his own thought process.
“My thought process is always to put away the bad balls and give a good start to the team,” the left-hander said.
Now averaging over 35 in T20Is with a strike rate over 160, Jaiswal has all but sealed a spot in the starting XI for the T20 World Cup. However, when asked about his T20WC chances, the youngster said that selection is out of his hands, and he’ll leave it to the management to evaluate whether he deserves a spot in the XI.
“I will leave it up to the seniors and Rahul bhai (Dravid) and the selectors,” Jaiswal said of his T20WC selection.