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No Kohli, No Problem: Jaiswal Leads Charge Of Bright New India


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Talented young batsmen Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan were hailed Monday as the future of Indian cricket after they led their team to a monumental Test victory over England.

The left-handed Jaiswal, hit an unbeaten 214 and put on a destructive 172-run partnership with debutant Sarfaraz to set up India's 434-run win in Rajkot on Sunday.

There had been fears for India's inexperienced batting line-up with former captain Virat Kohli out for the series for undisclosed personal reasons and KL Rahul injured.

Already missing destructive wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who is still not quite ready to return after being hurt in a car crash in December 2022, it meant four of India's top five had just 33 Test caps between them.

But the new batsmen more than rose to the challenge, with the 22-year-old Jaiswal scoring a double century in Rajkot for the second match in a row and Sarfaraz, aged 26, making 62 and 68 on his first Test outing.

"Double hundred. Double fifty. This duo of Yashasvi & Sarfaraz has been double trouble for England," cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar wrote on X, formerly twitter.

Jaiswal, once a homeless boy in Mumbai who sold street food to pursue his sporting passion, scored 171 on debut in the West Indies last year and has never looked back.

He averages 71.75 in seven Tests, leads the series batting chart with 545 runs, and needs 139 in his next innings to become the fourth-quickest batsman in history to 1,000 Test runs, and the fastest in 75 years.

Sarfaraz, 26, was presented with his Test cap by spin great Anil Kumble, with his teary-eyed wife and father looking on, and he handled the England spinners with panache and was unlucky to be run out in the first innings.

"We need to see him in a few more Test matches," former chief selector MSK Prasad told Kolkata-based newspaper The Telegraph.

"Jaiswal definitely has the ingredients to be the next superstar. He's proving to be an all-format player," he added.

"The opportunities came knocking at their door just ahead of the transition period for Indian cricket, and it was really good to see these players grabbing the chances with both hands."

- 'Instant hit' -

India have introduced a string of new players in the series including Rajat Patidar, 30, who made his debut in the second Test.

 

Dhruv Jurel, the 23-year-old wicketkeeper who won his first Test cap in Rajkot alongside Sarfaraz, was dubbed "an instant hit on debut" by the Indian Express newspaper.

"Yashasvi Jaiswal is a special talent, that he can play defensively 50 balls, so (has) good technique against the new ball, and unleash and get into T20 mode immediately," former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar told website cricinfo.

Sarfaraz, he added, "plays spin the best. And while watching him bat in the two innings I think India have found a brilliant middle-over batter for 50 overs cricket."

England's aggressive "Bazball" brand of cricket won them the opening encounter of the five-match series but they have lost the next two, and the Times of India newspaper headlined its report "BAZBALL TO BUST".

Jurel made 46 in the first innings and effected a sharp run out on Ben Duckett to trigger an England collapse on the fourth day.

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"Big victory, obviously it's a very good feeling to win a game like that, and especially with such a young team as well," said skipper Rohit Sharma.

(CRICKETNMORE.COM)