The remarkable rise of Yashasvi Jaiswal has been scintillating to say the least, especially at the international level, and Jake Lush McCrum, the CEO of Rajasthan Royals, said the biggest reason behind the young left-handed opener’s success is his hunger, drive and work ethic. Jaiswal scored 177 on Test debut against West Indies last year and even made his T20I debut in the same year. Earlier this year, Jaiswal scored 712 runs, including two double centuries, in India’s 4-1 Test series win over England at home. Though he’s blown hot and cold in IPL 2024 for RR, Jaiswal has been included in India’s squad for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup. RR vs RCB IPL 2024 Eliminator: Rajasthan Royals Set Date With Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 2, Knock Royal Challengers Bengaluru out of Playoffs With Four-Wicket Win.

"The biggest reason for his success is his hunger, his drive, his work ethic. He hits more balls than any player. He trains harder than any player, and that's the sort of instinct that he's got, which has been so amazing to watch. We had spotted him a few years before we signed him, when he was not eligible for the auction yet. As much as we have an analytics capability that is unbelievably strong, there was not enough data to make a decision. So, we held a lot of trials with him."

"The first ball he faced, he stepped across and scooped the fast bowler bowling 135. That sort of fearlessness, that rawness, that drive was incredibly impressive and so let’s just say we are not surprised with where Yashasvi has gotten to," said McCrum on SportifyWithPRG podcast.

He also shed light on the behind the scenes efforts in making Jaiswal a more grounded human being off the field. "He had to undergo a cultural transformation, because when you're a young kid who's been on the maidans, you have to only focus on yourself, and so he came from that setting to a team environment."

"We took him (Jaiswal) to the UK. We got him to spend time with business leaders within our UK tech entrepreneurial ecosystem. We took him to different academies. We gave him exposure just going on a boat in Cornwall with some locals and having some Cornish pasties. Small things like that just opened his eyes to the broader world and made him see the bigger picture and how big the ecosystem supporting him is and how much he's giving back to it as well. And so, you see that maturity building."

With IPL mega auction looming next year, McCrum talked about RR’s strategy and approach towards preparing for the auctions. "It's a fascinating couple of days. There are not many occurrences where you're spending USD 10 million on X number of assets in that short time, and it can have such a variable impact on your next three seasons.

"That's why we've invested heavily in analytics because we think it gives us a better gauge on the quality of a player, which helps us make better decisions. And so being able to value a player more effectively means you can allocate your purse more effectively, which means you can build a stronger squad which helps you win more matches," he said.

McCrum further explained about RR's partnership with Red Bull in scouting and talent identification which helps them during auction preparation. “We started doing some of these talent hunts, working with Red Bull Campus cricket. There's an incredible supply of talent (in India), but particularly bowlers who can go on incredible growth curves, where if you've got that raw pace, they can be refined and developed over a couple of years to be at an IPL level. IPL 2024: Rajasthan Royals’s Riyan Parag Continues Impressive Run; Rises in Uncapped Batter List.

"We've got scouting going on right now across the country to find the next best fast bowlers. We've had multiple in our net bowler group from the speedster ecosystem, who've been working with us as well. We hired a guy, Michael Italiano, who had been working with Red Bull in F1."

"He could bring all those learnings in to the Royals because he understands how the Athlete Performance Center of Red Bull works, because he has seen all those elements being implemented in F1, he can bring across the best to IPL," he concluded.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on May 23, 2024 04:57 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website