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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Dhruv Jurel has gloves that can fit those of Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant

Our Special Correspondent Calcutta Published 21.02.24, 10:04 AM
Dhruv Jurel with Yashasvi Jaiswal (middle) and Rajat Patidar (extreme left) on the team’s flight to Ranchi on Tuesday, in a picture shared on X 

Dhruv Jurel with Yashasvi Jaiswal (middle) and Rajat Patidar (extreme left) on the team’s flight to Ranchi on Tuesday, in a picture shared on X  X

More than two years after Wriddhiman Saha was forced into oblivion, the Indian team management hasn’t still honed in on a suitable replacement. Rishabh Pant’s unfortunate accident left the Indian think-tank with very few options.

Ishan Kishan was never an automatic choice in the longer format and experiments with KS Bharat failed. Once Kishan decided to take a break, the search began.

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The team management was never happy with Bharat’s contributions with the bat in the lower order. They needed someone who could consistently prop up the tail and the decision to try out young rookie Dhruv Jurel was taken with the current series tantalisingly poised at 1-1.

The selectors tried KL Rahul as a stop gap arrangement on the fast and bouncy tracks in South Africa but couldn’t risk his wicketkeeping abilities on slow and low turners at home. They needed a trusted pair of hands behind the wickets and Jurel, 23, fitted the bill perfectly.

Here was a wicketkeeper who had come through the ra­nks performing admirably
in both batting and keeping. India’s vice-captain at the U-19 World Cup 2020, Jurel
had impressed in his 16 first-class games for Uttar Pradesh. He also featured in the India A team on their tour of South Africa.

His father, Nem Singh, a Kargil war veteran, wanted his son to follow in his footsteps but Dhruv craved to be a cricketer. His dreams finally took shape when the youngster landed up at the Springdale Academy, run by Parvendra Yadav, in Agra.

His performance on Test debut is sure to inspire hope. Besides his solid 46 in Rajkot, his wicketkeeping too earned plaudits.

His run out of Ben Duckett in the second innings earned praise even from captain Rohit Sharma on Instagram; Jurel anticipated Mohammed Siraj’s throw, collected it and dislodged the stumps in a single motion to leave the opener stranded mid-pitch.

“Ye Aajkal ke bacche”, said Rohit lauding the efforts of Jurel, Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sarfaraz Khan in the post.

Jurel’s chances of playing will be the talking point once Pant makes a comeback into international cricket sometime this year. But Pant’s workload will have to be managed carefully since he will be coming off a long layoff.

Jurel’s chances will come in such circumstances and who knows the competition may spur him on to perform better. One thing is for certain: he will be keen to fulfil his dream.

Bumrah to skip Ranchi

Jasprit Bumrah will miss the fourth Test in Ranchi after being allowed to rest as part of his workload management, the BCCI confirmed late on Tuesday. KL Rahul has been ruled out of the fourth Test too after failing to regain fitness.

Mukesh Kumar has joined the squad. It remains to be seen if the team management includes a pacer or a spinner in Bumrah’s place.

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