'India have Rohit, Kohli but Yashasvi certainly...': Smith's bombastic WC remark | Crickit
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'India have Rohit, Kohli, Gill but Yashasvi certainly...': Graeme Smith's bombastic ODI World Cup remark

ByAratrick Mondal, Kolkata
May 13, 2023 01:49 PM IST

Having closely followed Yashasvi's short career through his domestic and IPL stints, Smith pointed out that he has transformed himself into a dynamic batter.

When Nitish Rana was seen warming up to bowl the first over in Rajasthan Royals' chase on Thursday, it seemed a logical ploy. Rana being an off-spinner and with the reputation of taking some notable wickets in his IPL career, pressure directly fell on Yashasvi Jaiswal. It was only expected that he would make a cautious start or probably nudge it away for a quick single and put an experienced right-hander in Jos Buttler on strike. But what looked as a test for the youngster, it quickly turned into a nightmare for Rana as Yashasvi smashed 26 runs that kickstarted one of the most glorious IPL knocks and one of many that world cricket are yet to see from this generational talent. In 13 balls he completed his fifty, the fastest ever in IPL, and later ended with an unbeaten 98 to help Rajasthan Royals script a comfortable win.

Yashasvi Jaiswal; Graeme Smith
Yashasvi Jaiswal; Graeme Smith

Former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith, who is now an IPL expert on JioCinema, was in complete admiration of Yashasvi's IPL 2023 campaign and how he has managed to improve himself immensely from the previous season. Having closely followed the 21-year-old's short career through his domestic and IPL stints, Smith pointed out that Yashasvi has transformed himself into a dynamic batter.

ALSO READ: 'If Team India is focussing on ODI World Cup...': Shastri, Harbhajan's ultimatum to BCCI after Yashasvi's carnage

"Well, he has been incredible. I have watched some of his domestic performances which have been really good. You can also see a growth in his game from the last season of IPL. I have loved watching him play. He has just got a natural ability to find the gap. He has got stroke play, particularly on the off side and has developed strength on the leg side which has made him dynamic," he told Hindustan Times.

What amazed Smith about the RR star was his sensational numbers against spin. Of the 575 runs he has scored this season in 12 innings, 199 came against spinners at a strike rate of 155.5 without a single dismissal. In fact, among the 29 batters who have faced at least 75 deliveries of spin this season, he remains the only player to not have been dismissed by the variety, with his strike rate being the third-best among Indians after Shivam Dube (177) and Sanju Samson (170).

"The fact that he hasn't got out to spin this season is a huge positive as well. But the thing that shines for me is that he is very determined to do well. takes a lot in his strike and has a lot of expectation and pressure now to get those higher honours. The way that he has been handling that is superb," Smith continued.

Yashasvi's terrific season, where he stands second in the Orange Cap list after RCB captain Faf du Plessis (576 runs), and the knock on Thursday led to most veteran Indian cricketers calling for the 21-year-old's inclusion in Team India for the World Cup. Smith feels that the youngster has certainly played his part, leaving the rest up to the selectors, who will now have a happy headache given the plethora of options at disposal.

“In terms of selection, he is certainly knocking down the door. That is all he can do at the moment right now. He has controlled that. Indian cricket is blessed with a lot of options like senior cricketers in Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul, who is injured now. You also have Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill. The selectors surely have some nice headaches to have but Yashasvi has certainly put his name right up there in the conversation,” he said.

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