At a time when IPL-enticed Indian cricketers are being put in the dock for dereliction of duty when it comes to the Indian cricket team, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan scripted heart-warming stories of grit, determination and extraordinary success, fashioning India’s historic 434-run victory against England at the Saurashtra cricket ground, at the stadium renamed Niranjan Shah stadium, Rajkot.

As the fourth Test gets underway in the rare five Test series between India and England, it has hardly given much time since the conclusion of the third Test for the success of two unsuspecting heroes to sink in. it remains a matter of awe and of imagination being brought to reality.

Earning high praise from Sachin Tendulkar does not come easy. But Jaiswal and Sarfaraz got it plenty when the Indian maestro posted on his social media post: “Double Hundred.

Double Fifty. This duo of Yashasvi and Sarfaraz has been a double trouble for England. I couldn’t watch them play live, but was very pleased to hear about their knocks. Keep it Up!”

And trouble for England was the absolute right summation because it was a case of “stunned at tea, decimated by stumps” on day four by the manner in which the youngsters dominated day four and ultimately led to the rout of the England team in a span of 40 overs post tea.

The manner in which Jaiswal returned after having being forced to retire hurt after scoring his century, and the manner in which Sarfaraz went about his batting for a second innings in a row, England were simply sitting ducks as the duo went about the business of putting India firmly in command midway through the fourth day. The way Sarfaraz celebrated Jaiswal’s double century in the 172 run partnership could have fooled anyone into thinking it was Khan alone that had scored a Test century on debut. Such was the camaraderie of the two hard working Mumbai boys.

This is not to discredit or undermine the contribution of captain Rohit Sharma, who had to battle his own demons, or all rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who played a stellar role with bat and ball, to stitch together a partnership when India found themselves in dire conditions at the start of the Test. Yet it was hard to overlook the contributions of the youngsters in light of what the two created as part of a phenomenon of a rare generation of cricketers who not only love their opportunity but actually revere Test cricket.

The absence of big name players like Virat Kohli always provides a rare opportunity for younger players waiting in the wings to have their say. To have to do it against a formidable opponent like England is both daunting as it is exciting. The spotlight in the high profile contest is exponentially raised as the stakes as was the case in Rajkot where India had to win to break the 1-1 deadlock in the five Test series but more importantly, establish an ascendancy in a series that has been almost unpredictable but exhilarating and absorbing in equal measure.

Conversely, there is a lot of pressure on these young cricketers, knowing their chances have been slim coming and places in the Indian playing eleven are not easy to take. It explains one of the reasons why when players like Sarfaraz who have consistently performed exceptionally well in domestic and first class cricket, having come up through the sheer hard work put in by himself and his family, especially his father Naushad, could have chosen the cosy life of the Indian Premier League and given up on earning the team India call up.

In that light alone, the kind of performances they have put up, it was not an uncommon thought echoed in the cricket community that the cricket world was witnessed extraordinary Indian talent willing to play to the nuances of the long form and also, showing the kind of skills and maturity that one would not expect of them at their age of 22 and 26 and also, in the age of Twenty20.

Sarafraz did not play like he was on debut and Jaiswal certainly showed an intense hunger and spirit that encapsulated why he already has three double centuries in his seven Test career, this one being the second consecutive one on the trot and significantly, against the same opponent which is an Indian record in itself.

It was evidenced in how Jaiswal in particular, showed scant ‘respect’ for James Anderson when the need to build the impetus and push for a massive target presented itself as the youngster hit three sixes. That it even drew an organic laugh and shrug of the shoulders from the world class 41-year-old English fast bowler says it all.

Yet while the Opposition decided ahead of time that they would persist with their “Bazball”, style of batting which is an aggressive, positive style of batting more attuned to a Twenty20 ball game rather than the Test format right through the series, the youngsters did not fall prey to a similar strategy which would have been tempting. Instead they showed the temperament to play the long game, willing to play themselves in as Jaiswal showed and then taking the opposition to the cleaners when the opportunity presented itself, as both players did with aplomb.

When asked afterwards what made Jaiswal such a thinking player and so determined to make big hundreds when at the crease, the honesty of the 22-year-old brought tears to those who could relate to his struggle and left the former England batsman-turned-commentators simply in awe.

Jaiswal spoke about the value put in through his life and stated that while he had the resources of Rahul Dravid and Rathore in the dressing room as coaches to run his ideas with, it was the constant striving whether to catch the bus, the train or auto just to make it to the training that had instilled him this quality of perseverance and also, the determination that he had to make it count when given the opportunity.

Similarly Sarfaraz’s success was not just his own. The fact that after he received his Test cap from Anil Kumble, his father held the cap and wept, just showed the many years of belief on belief that had been poured into him and the literal sweat, tears and toil that had brought this day when the family could celebrate.

And not content to have simply been given a call up that was a long time coming, Sarfaraz chased history and barring an unfortunate run out in the first innings, it is hard to say what more India could have been rejoicing.

Fortunately for team India, these youngsters have breathed new life into team India’s Test aspirations, and plausibly paved the way for the team’s think tank to be more courageous in the future, allowing for the selection of more relatively unknown players like Dhruv Jurel and Rajat Patidar. To have done what they did, even when they know that their place in the playing eleven hasn’t been cemented yet with several senior players still in the wings, showed their courage and their capabilities that leaves both, Test cricket and the Indian cricket team in great hands.