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Jaiswal is a quick learner!

Updated on: 06 February,2024 07:00 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Sunil Gavaskar | mailbag@mid-day.com

India needed someone to hold the first innings together with a big century as once again, most of the other batters got going like they did in the first Test and then gifted their wickets away

Jaiswal is a quick learner!

India’s Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrates his century against England on Day One of the second Test in Visakhapatnam on Friday. Pic/Getty Images

Sunil GavaskarYashasvi Jaiswal showed he is a quick learner by making sure he didn’t miss out on a hundred as he did in the first Test match by scoring a magnificent double century in the second Test. India certainly needed someone to hold the innings together with a big century as once again most of the other batters got going like they did in the first Test and then gifted their wickets away.


With the advent of T20 cricket and the need there to play unexpected shots, the temperament of the batters can sometimes be badly affected. The thinking that they can play an unorthodox shot and get away with it regularly can and does get them out. Test cricket is a five-day format and while most Test matches finish well within that and often with a day or so to spare, as was seen by the unforgettable innings from Ollie Pope and now from young Jaiswal, there is scope to play a match-defining and game-changing innings.


Also Read: Head coach Rahul Dravid clears air about Ishan Kishan's absence from the Indian squad


First-class games, a must

What the batters’ failure to get big runs also shows how important it is before a Test match series for both batters and bowlers to play some first-class games and get themselves in the right frame of mind for the longer format of the game. The Ranji Trophy had started and it would have been perfect timing for the batters to get into the groove for the Test series by playing a couple of games. Some of the performances in the Ranji Trophy, especially after the Lodha panel reforms made it mandatory to give first-class status  to some states who were not part of the Ranji Trophy circuit, have been mind boggling. 
While the thinking  behind it may have been to spread the game to all parts of the country, what it did not take into consideration was that all those states were simply not ready to play at that level. 

Yes, these states can employ three players from other states especially some players who are good but not good enough to play for their established state teams but most of  the other players won’t even find a place in the ‘C team’ of most elite teams. So to read some old batting and bowling records being obliterated because some of these players playing in the plate division are scoring triple hundreds and century after century and bowlers picking seven-plus wicket hauls makes one feel sorry for those who held the records when the competition was really stiff. 

Falling like ninepins

It’s pretty much like some of the performances one reads about in the ICC T20 competition when Associate member teams play against each other. There records fall like ninepins and those full member country teams who play a higher grade of cricket wonder how those other matches can be equated with theirs. 

Those games might be to encourage  the sport to develop in those countries but it is farcical to equate those with the standard of matches that is found between full member countries. The ICC itself recognised that when they congratulated and welcomed Uganda to the big time when they qualified for the ICC T20 World Cup in West Indies and USA. 

While the games between the Associate member countries are technically ‘international’ since they are played between two countries, there is a huge gulf in standard like between the Elite teams and Plate teams in the Ranji Trophy. Somebody with more brains than me will definitely come up with a definition for those games and give it a different name than international and first-class, so as to distinguish the quality and standard of those matches.

No mockery, please

That said, I am all for spreading the game far and wide and the need to encourage these countries and states to play the game. But let’s not make a mockery of the records that have been set at a much higher level than what these aspiring countries and states are playing.

Professional Management Group

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