Prolific opener Yashasvi Jaiswal scored his maiden Test double hundred in the second Test against England in Visakhapatnam on Saturday, becoming the third youngest Indian to achieve the feat in his nascent-but-remarkable career. Playing only his sixth Test, the 22-year-old’s sensational knock of 209 off 290 balls single-handedly powered India to 396 all out in 112 overs on the second day of the match.
He hit 19 fours and seven sixes en route the double century, which was the lone bright spot in a below par batting effort by the home team.
His stupendous knock duly earned the respect of the opposition and England players walked up to Jaiswal to congratulate him after his epic effort finally came to an end in the 107th over of the innings.
Vinod Kambli holds the distinction of being the youngest Indian to score a double century, also against England, at the age of 21 years and 335 days back in 1993.
The record for the second youngest Indian double centurion in Tests is also held by Kambli, who smashed it against Zimbabwe at the age 21 years and 355 days.
Before Kambli, the record was held by Sunil Gavaskar who scored his maiden double in the West Indies back in 1971.
He is the first Indian left-hander since Gautam Gambhir to fetch a double ton in the traditional format. Gambhir’s knock came back in 2008 against Australia.
Jaiswal had scored 171 on his Test debut against the West Indies last year. He managed an 80-run innings in the series-opener against England in Hyderabad, where India lost by 28 runs.
Before Jaiswal, only Sachin Tendulkar and Kambli had multiple 150-plus scores in Tests before turning 23.
Jaiswal eventually reached the milestone with a six and a four off debutant spinner Shoaib Bashir in the 102nd over.
“Jaiswal – one of the greatest stories in world sport!,” former England skipper Kevin Pietersen wrote on his social media account, referring perhaps to the humble beginnings of the rising star.
Jaiswal was finally dismissed when he went for a big shot and was caught by Jonny Bairstow at extra cover off Anderson’s bowling.
Hailing from Uttar Pradesh’s Bhadohi, Jaiswal’s life wasn’t a bed of roses for the boy hailing from a lower middle-class family.
The fourth among six children in his house, Jaiswal moved to Mumbai from Bhadohi at the age of 11 to train at the iconic Azad Maidan.
He sustained himself doing odd jobs, that included selling paani puri by the roadside, and lived in tents with groundsmen of Azad Maidan during his formative years.
Jaiswal selling pani puri is a well-documented and oft-repeated anecdote from his life but his formative coach Jwala Singh has maintained in multiple interviews to PTI that it is a bit stretched.
Singh has insisted that Jaiswal lived at his house for the better part of his years of struggle.
“I really don’t like the story (selling panipuri). He is playing cricket because of hard work,” Jwala told PTI during an interaction.
In fact, he did clarify the urban myth that is only getting more traction with each passing day. “Many sellers set up their stalls near the Azad Maidan. Sometimes when he would get free in the evenings, he used to help them a bit. He did not set up a stall himself. It is not that he sold panipuris and went on to play for India,” Jwala was cut-throat in dismissing the whole ‘sob story’.
The youngster rose to prominence in the Under-19 World Cup in 2020 where he was the leading run-getter.
He was picked up by Rajasthan Royals in the IPL auction the same year and has so far scored 1172 runs in 37 IPL matches.
Jaiswal also has scored 502 runs, including a hundred and four fifties, in 17 T20Is for India.
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