As you would expect after equalling an international record previously achieved only by greats of the game like Herschelle Gibbs, Yuvraj Singh and Kieron Pollard, Jaskaran Malhotra has received overwhelming appreciation from around the globe. One of the first to congratulate Malhotra after he hit six sixes in an over for USA against Papua New Guinea was Pollard, who was also his captain at St Lucia Stars during the 2018 edition of the CPL.
Like his more famous teammates at the Stars from that year, like David Warner, Daren Sammy and Lendl Simmons, 31-year-old Malhotra aims to play in the IPL one day, his early ambition of turning out for India being unfulfilled. However,one must acknowledge that there is pride and satisfaction of being a part of an improving USA outfit.
“It’s quite amazing, really. I had not planned on any such thing when I went in to bat,” Malhotra told media about his innings of 173* (in 124 balls, with four fours and 16 sixes), also the first ODI century in men’s cricket for USA. “I entered the field with our team in a spot of bother, having lost three wickets for 29 inside the first ten overs. My first target was to just stay till the end. As the innings progressed, I got the confidence to play my shots.
“In the final over (bowled by the unfortunate Gaudi Toka), once I was able to hit four sixes, that’s when the thought of six sixes first came in. I am grateful that I was able to equal this record.”
Of the six sixes, which took USA to 271 for 9 and a 134-run win, Malhotra felt the second one was his best, having gone inside-out over cover. Shades of the third one Yuvraj had hit off Stuart Broad back in that 2007 T20 World Cup game there,a memory etched forever in the hearts of all Indians,from India and around the world.
And though there has been a tsunami of messages and calls since September 9, the one Malhotra has been waiting for hasn’t come yet. “I know Yuvi paaji (Yuvraj) will also be calling me soon. I am eagerly looking forward to that.”
“I captained Himachal Pradesh at Under-15 and Under-17 levels. I was also the most prolific domestic wicketkeeper-batter at Under-17 level. In fact, I was rewarded with a place among the 20 probables for the Under-19 World Cup in 2008, and was part of the NCA camp,” Malhotra said. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t make the final 16, which won the tournament under Virat Kohli.”
All we can say is that Jaskaran Malhotra has managed to accomplish something only a handful rare diamonds can achieve among the lakhs.
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.