Does Yashasvi Jaiswal’s innings count?

It was only against the West Indies, they say.

“What a wonderful innings from Yashasvi Jaiswal! It's a shame that some people will say it doesn't count.”

This is the sort of thing I started seeing on the internet. And I get it, this West Indian team is not inspiring much confidence.

There are innings that probably shouldn’t count. One of the most famous was when the West Indies protested New Zealand umpires by helping Richard Hadlee to a hundred. Even he didn’t rate it that much.

And based on West Indies’ cricket in this Test, it would be easy to lump this innings to the doesn’t count. Yesterday they batted like they were new to the sport.

Their number three is Raymon Reifer, who averages 29 in first-class cricket. He’s batting in the spot that Viv Richards, Frank Worrell, Garfield Sobers, George Headley, Rohan Kanhai, Richie Richardson, Shivnarine Chandrepaul and Brian Lara have batted. I mean, those are impossible shoes to fill if you’re a batter. Reifer is an all-rounder with one first-class hundred. He may not even be the best person from his family to bat number three for the Windies. And the last one played during a strike.

If you look at their batting, their best guy is their captain who averages less than 35 in his career. And if you look at the last decade, he is the only mainstay. Two of the three others with high averages are from the Chandrepaul family, and the other is Chris Gayle. This has been a tragic batting lineup for some time.

You are probably sitting there going Jaiswal’s innings doesn’t count because the West Indies are horrible. They most certainly are. But not on both sides of the ball. They’re a fairly strong middle-of-the-road bowling lineup, nothing great, but enough to keep teams honest and win the odd match.

If you check their runs per wicket by bowling subtracted from batting, they’re still coughing up 10 runs per wicket. And that’s almost all from a lack of batting.

Kemar Roach is a really good bowler. I thought he had the tools to be a great before his car accident. But even though he never got to those heights, he has been a star for a very long time. Since the being in 2017, he has more than 100 wickets at 25. That’s proper talent.

However, if you just look at him against left-handers, he is the best against them in the world in that era. He was probably the first to embrace the round-the-wicket cult, and he was so good he sintered many others trying it. Being that Jaiswal is a left-hander, there is no way he faced a lot of left-hander killing seamers as Roach, especially with a Dukes ball.

However, he barely bowled. He delivered 11 of the first 98 overs. He certainly bowled well with the new ball, but there were no challenging spells later because there was pretty much so bowling at all. Mind you, when he did bowl with the second new ball, he should have taken Jaiswal LBW, but they were out of reviews.

But it would be fair to say that the rest of the attack is not made to bowl to lefties.

You won’t see Jason Holder on that list of southpaw slayers, he much prefers the right-handers. Though he certainly bowled some good spells. But while there was some bounce in this wicket, he also needs lateral movement, and this wasn’t the surface for him.

It would be fair to say that while Alzarri Joseph is a talent, we haven’t seen it much at the Test level yet. And when he do see him at his best, it’s against right-handers. So he looked far more likely to dismiss Rohit than Jaiswal.

Jomel Warrican is a left-arm finger spinner, and as such prefers to bowl to right-handers early in the match. But he did have rough to bowl at as this wicket seemed to crumble nearly from the start. Also, he has 300 first-class wickets at 21, he’s a handy bowler.

And then there was Rahkeem Cornwall, who has been terrible against lefthanders so far as an offie. Part of this would be that he doesn’t have a good straight ball. He does have one of course, but batters seem to pick it. But he also doesn’t get to bowl on many wickets like this, with spin and bounce, basically, the two things he would most love. And he worked Jaiswal over.

The ball was really moving for him, he beat the bat a lot, had close LBW shouts and certainly put the most consistent pressure on Jaiswal.

Of course, he was off the field with a chest infection most of the time. He wasn’t the only one. As Jaiswal got near his hundred, Holder left the field for a while too.

The point is that this is a decent Test attack. But there is something more to this. When players make runs against lower teams, people question their worth. You are supposed to make runs against poorer teams. I don’t trust batters who don’t crush poor attacks.

The two best attacks Bradman faced were West Indies and England. It was mostly England, as he only played against West Indies once. But he destroyed the weaker bowling of South Africa and India.

If that is too far back for you, let’s bring up someone else. Sachin. He tortured Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the other weaker attack - at least for parts of his career - was Sri Lanka. If you are good at making runs, you should make more against poor teams.

There is no doubt that the hype around Jaiswal has grated on some people. Simon Hughes’ tweet certainly annoyed a lot of people.

There is a reason people are that excited though. Technically he looks rock solid, he has already worked out batting tempo, has incredible confidence and can work his way through tough parts of an innings.

He just looks like a Test bat already. Not in development. There are no obvious flaws that he will need to work on to stay at this level. Just like he’s ready to go, as far as debuts go, not since Joe Root have I seen a player and just thought, oh, there are my next ten years. That doesn't mean a great many things can't go wrong. Many great young players fail.

It will only get harder from here. But there is a difference between making a hundred in the third innings with a lead against a team with no real threats, and what Jaiswal has done here. He blunted the new ball, pulled back against the offie, handled the spin and bounce, played within himself and batted an entire day of a Test.

Writing off these innings is like when people say some batters are flat-track bullies. If you’re not awesome on flat wickets, you’re not of much good. If you can’t destroy a broken attack, you’re not going to handle the better teams.

And if there is a wicket that Virat Kohli takes 80 balls to score a boundary on, being fluent at the other end shouldn’t be written off or given an asterisk.

This was a quality innings from Jaiswal, even though he had to face Kraigg Brathwaite at times. that might sound contradictory, but it's not.