Jayant Yadav's rise through the ranks- one of belief and patience

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Jayant Yadav's rise through the ranks- one of belief and patience

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Bastab K Parida

11/26/2016

The jubilation doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The journey has just begun for the promising Gurgaon-lad.

India were at 363/7 after having lost Wriddhiman Saha in the second Test at Vizag. Ravichandran Ashwin was rock-solid in the middle and was joined by a debutant. Playing the first Test of his career, Jayant Yadav was a little nervous but with time, his confidence got the better of his nervousness as he went on to score an industrious 35 runs in the first innings. His partnership with his senior-pro Ashwin yielded 64 runs for the eighth wicket to take the team total to 455.

With the small-but-important knock, Jayant announced his arrival on the big stage, after plying his trade for Haryana in domestic cricket for half-a-decade.

Born in the national capital in 1990, Jayant had to take different routes to reach where he is right now. Rohtak gave him a chance to settle his career as he made his Under-15 debut for Haryana against Jammu and Kashmir in 2004. He picked up seven wickets from the match to show the glimpse of his caliber.

Jayant started his life as a leg-spinner but changed his style to off-spin to avoid being one more of leg-spinners at home. “I started playing cricket at a very early age with my brothers in the ‘gully’. I started as a leg-spinner, but the funny story is that I have two first cousins who were also leg-spinners. So they said it’s not allowed. You cannot have three leg-spinners in the family. At that point, I really thought that was a thing and I turned to off-spin,” he said in an interview to bcci.tv..

Graduating through the ranks of age-group cricket for Haryana, Jayant made his Ranji Trophy debut against Gujarat in 2011. Being a spinner in Haryana comes with its own curse. Although the state has produced the likes of Rajinder Goel and Amit Mishra, the perennial grassy track of Chowdhry Bansilal Stadium in Lahli somehow restricted the progress of a spinner more often than not.  But champions take adversity in their stride and Jayant Yadav started weaving his magic even on the grassy tracks of Lahli.

A handy lower-order batsman, Jayant has two first-class centuries to his name, including a double against Karnataka. Not only that, he was involved in a record 392-run eighth wicket stand with Amit Mishra in that match, the highest-ever partnership for the eighth wicket in the Ranji Trophy history.

His ability to stay calm and understand the importance of mental strength keeps him ahead of his contemporaries. Just because of that, he waited to grab his opportunity and the  2014-15 season gifted him that chance. He began the season with a six-for and took 13 wickets against Saurashtra in Rajkot. Excellent performances in the season were rewarded with selection for the India A squad for the home series against South Africa A and Bangladesh A. He then accounted for eight wickets in the historic win of Rest of India against Mumbai in the Irani Cup in the same season.

All this was sufficient to hand him an IPL contract for Delhi Daredevils, and an India call-up also looked viable. Although he was picked for the Zimbabwe tour, his younger statemate Yuzavendra Chahal was preferred over him in the playing eleven by skipper MS Dhoni. Yadav returned to take seven wickets from two matches in India A's tour of Australia and knocked on the door again.

Finally, the moment came in the final One-day against New Zealand, where he gave only eight runs from four overs and picked up the wicket of Corey Anderson with a peach of a delivery. But this Test debut has rather proved to be more eventful.

Coming in at the expense of his senior statemate Amit Mishra, Jayant had a lot to prove. His first moment came through with the bat. By showing sturdy defence against England's spinners and the stomach for a fight against their fast bowlers, who targeted him with the short ball, Jayant made a well-crafted 35 and made the debut a memorable one.

"Since the time I remember, since I have started playing serious cricket, not in the streets but in an academy, I have dreamt of this day," he told Star Sports after stumps. "This dressing room is full of people who make you comfortable. KL Rahul, a recent debutant, told me what to expect on debut. It's good I didn't do anything yesterday, gave me time to process the emotions and formulate my plans.”

After the end of his first bowling stint on Day three, Ashwin had thrown some light on his relationship with Jayant, which started three years ago.

Ashwin said, “Me and Jayant go a long way back actually. Two-three years ago, he came down to Chennai; he was staying near my house for about two weeks. He practiced with me and I know the boy really well. He is someone who can really understand what I say and we have a very, very good rapport. I felt really happy for him, the way he came out and batted positively. His body language was great. Every bit of communication between us was auguring into the partnership getting deeper, so I kind of enjoyed it.”

After showing his ability with the bat, it was his turn to show his bowling caliber. He had a mediocre first over but came back with more intent in the second over and defeated Moeen Ali with his turn. Ali danced down the track but couldn’t get any connection with the bat and the ball rapped on his pads. Jayant was convinced the ball would go onto hit the stumps had the pad not come in the way. He went near wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha and Saha convinced Virat to go for a review, which ultimately got him his first Test scalp. The jubilation was all the more palpable on the youngman’s face.

The jubilation doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon. The journey has just begun for the promising Gurgaon-lad.

 

 

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