Rajasthan Royals batsman Yashasvi Jaiswal, who impressed in the latter stages of the first leg of IPL 2021, has insisted that playing in Oman will serve as great preparation for the second leg of the T20 extravaganza due to start in 12 days’ time.
Jaiswal was a part of the Mumbai state side that toured Oman in August to play six matches - 4 one-day matches and two T20s - and the youngster impressed, posting three 75+ scores across the six games. In fact, across the four one-day games, Jaiswal finished as the highest run-getter with 212 runs.
With Oman home to conditions very similar to the UAE, Jaiswal described the tour to the Middle East as ‘great preparation’ and hoped to replicate the solid showing against better attacks in the IPL.
"I had a very good series against Oman and in similar conditions to the UAE. I'm really happy with the way I'm playing my cricket at the moment, and I can't wait to replicate these performances in the IPL against much stronger line-ups,” Jaiswal said.
"It was good practice for me before the big matches in the IPL. It had been a while I had played competitive cricket, and to play against an international team like Oman is certainly good preparation. I'm happy I could score some runs and win some matches for my team."
Jaiswal, who was a part of a Mumbai squad that featured other notable names such as Akash Parkar and Shams Mulani, revealed that he got a chance to interact with his ‘idol’ Sachin Tendulkar prior to the team’s departure to Oman. The 19-year-old said that Sachin gave him some valuable advice with the motive of helping the youngster improve his game.
"My idol has always been Sachin Tendulkar, and I was really fortunate to have a conversation with him before the Oman tour. I was glad that Mumbai Cricket Association invited him for a session before we left Mumbai to play against Oman.
"I was over the moon when I first heard he was going to be present there, and when I had the chance to speak to him at length, he was really humble and helped me on some skills where he thought I could improve on.
"It was good to see that a legend like him was aware of my game, and it was certainly a very happy moment for me. I can't wait to keep implementing those things in my game and express myself better on the field," Jaiswal said.
Rajasthan Royals, ahead of IPL 2021, appointed Kumar Sangakkara the franchise’s Director of Cricket, and Jaiswal said that he was ‘fortunate’ to have a mentor like the Sri Lankan legend by his side.
“We have had so many chats on what I can do during the game - how I should think, what my approach will be against which bowler, how I can change the tempo of the game, etc.
"I'm really fortunate to have a mentor like him. I also feel the best thing about him is that he's always willing to listen and give his time to the players," the youngster said.