World number one Test batsman and Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith is eagerly waiting to see how the two youngsters in his IPL team Yashavsi Jaiswal and Riyan Parag perform in the 2020 season of the tournament if it happens.
While 17-year-old all-rounder Parag has already made his debut with the Royals in 2019, the Jaipur-based franchise bought the under-19 star Jaiswal in the auction leading up to the 13th edition of the IPL.
“Young 17-year-old kid carrying around his teddy bears. He copped a bit but when he went out to play he did it with such freedom and even won a few games with his own bat. Pretty special, I could just see the joy on his face,” Smith said on a podcast with his Rajasthan Royals teammate and New Zealand spinner Ish Sodhi.
“He was bowling to M.S. Dhoni and almost got him out and just the smile on his face when he was bowling was so cool. We’ve been very lucky to have some good young players,” the former Australia captain added.
Smith also spoke about his excitement to see how Jaiswal fares in his first-ever IPL season. The 19-year-old has already become a sensation after his heroics in the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2019 and the ICC U-19 World Cup earlier this year where he became the highest scorer of the tournament as well.
“Jaiswal, he was the top scorer at the U19s and looks a quality player. So, fingers crossed we can get over this year and see all that young talent close up again,” said Smith.
The IPL 2020, which was scheduled to be played from March 29, has been postponed to April 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has already affected more than 4,400 people and killed over 110 in India.
With India in the middle of a 21-day lockdown till April 14 in an attempt to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, IPL 2020 has been subjected to an existential crisis as the April 15 is unlikely to happen. An official statement is still awaited.