'Filled with potential' - ex India star's huge response on 'Is Jaiswal set to replace Rohit in T20I?'
Yashasvi Jaiswal's tremendous run with the bat in IPL 2023 for Rajasthan Royals (RR) has inspired widespread calls for his immediate inclusion in India's T20I set-up. The verdict on the outside is that the young left-hander, who has shown remarkable improvement in his range and elevated his powerhitting game, should replace the ageing Rohit Sharma at the top.
When the same question was posed to former India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, the 'turbanator' came up with staggering remarks while lauding the young Jaiswal for his spectacular performances. The 21-year-old had his breakthrough campaign for the inaugural IPL champions, finishing with a whopping 625 runs in 14 innings at a strike-rate of 163.61.
The Mumbaikar's tally featured four half-centuries and also his maiden IPL ton, which he made against five-time champions Mumbai Indians (MI) upon his return to the iconic Wankhede Stadium. The knock of 124 signalled the arrival of Yashasvi Jaiswal as a more robust T20 hitter as he blazed a whopping 82 fours and 26 sixes in IPL 2023.
This great improvement being evident to everyone has only bolstered the man's claims for higher honours in an in-transition T20I side, which Rohit would soon leave. The experienced batter, aged 36, has also had a modest campaign with the bat, averaging 22.36 with a strike-rate of 134.33.
Harbhajan on Jaiswal replacing Rohit in the T20I side
Speaking on the matter, Harbhajan said on "current form" Yashasvi Jaiswal is better than most batters in world cricket and backed his ascent into an India T20I player, especially as the senior side approaches a transition phase.
The off-spinner cited the need for the selectors to wholeheartedly invest in youth in the shortest format from here on to strengthen his argument in favour of Jaiswal potentially replacing Rohit at the top of the order.
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"If we compare current form, and if we want to shift our focus towards youth, then Yashasvi (Jaiswal) is better than many. After the T20 World Cup defeat in Dubai (UAE) then plenty was discussed about forming a young unit for the format," Harbhajan said in response to a fan-query as quoted saying by the Hindustan Times.
"Guys like Yashasvi, Rinku Singh, and Shubman Gill under Hardik Pandya should be a new team altogether. Hardik Pandya should be captain and Yashasvi opens the innings with Shubman Gill. These guys are filled with potential," he added.