Updated: February 5, 2020 8:45:38 am
Opener Yashasvi Jaiswal’s unbeaten hundred was a vital knock as the India Under-19 team beat Pakistan by 10 wickets in the semifinal of the World Cup. Jaiswal feels the job is not yet done with a final on Sunday looming, against either New Zealand or Bangladesh. Jaiswal spoke to The Indian Express. Excerpts:
What was going in your mind before the game?
I wanted to keep myself calm and to follow process, which I have been following. When we got to know that we are playing Pakistan, I was telling myself ‘bus acha karna hai’. Since past five to six days, I was only thinking of staying long at the crease. I had spoken to Wasim (Jaffer) bhai also, he said not to get carried away and live in the present.
How did you and team control the anticipation and excitement before the semifinal match?
Credit should go to the coach and support staff for this. Paras Mhambrey sir ensured that everyone took this as any other game. We watched a short video from Rahul (Dravid) sir who motivated us and his words helped us a lot. He said, ‘remember that cricket is played in those 22 yards. Just take it like any other game and keep our focus’.
The century against Pakistan must be satisfying?
Am happy but my job is not yet done. We have one more game to go. This was the first time I experienced what an India versus Pakistan game means. The atmopshere was amazing, people chanting and screaming ‘India, India’. It was a totally different experience. Twice during the tournament I got out after being set, so I told myself that today I will play over by over. (Divyaansh) Saxena was batting well at other end and it helped ease the pressure off me.
How tough it is not to get carried away in such a high pressure game?
I had this feeling before the game that it would be my day. I had mentally prepared myself. That’s what the process is, try to do same thing again and again. I played each ball on merit. I had spoken to coaches here along with captain Priyam Garg and Wasim (Jaffer) bhai. They all said when I feel under pressure, just play out the next few overs. Maiden jaye toh bhi chalega (even if it is a maiden it is fine). Drink water, take singles. If you watched me batting, you will see that between 50 to 60 I took only singles. And the moment I felt ab confidence aagaya hai (I am confident now), I played my shots.
You also made an important breakthrough with the ball?
That’s what my role has been. During the Sri Lanka game also, I got a wicket when things weren’t going in our way. Today also, they were putting together a good partnership when I was asked to bowl.
What was running in your mind before the chase?
The pitch had dried up before the second innings. We had to ensure that we did not lose early wickets. Once we got a good start, we knew things will become easy as the pressure was on them.
You don’t use social media. How tough is it to stay away?
I feel that it could be a distraction. So I stay away.
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