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Dhruv Jurel to father: I had been selected in the Indian Team for the first two Tests

Dhruv Jurel :Dhruv Jurel’s friends called him to inform him that he had been selected in the Indian side for the first two Tests against England.

Dhruv Jurel was relaxed, perhaps even ready to go to bed. India A were in a dominant position in the first unofficial test against England Lions, trailing the visitors by 110 runs with as many nine wickets in the bank. The prospect of getting to bat on the second and final day would have been on his mind.

Little did Dhruv know that he was about to receive the biggest gift of his life. His friends called him to inform him that he had been selected in the Indian side for the first two Tests against England. He had been scoring consistently in domestic cricket and for India A but a Test call-up was never in his mind.

“My friends told me that I have been selected for the England series. I was very happy. I have performed well for India A. But I didn’t think about my selection for the senior team. I just focussed on performing well,” Dhurv told Dainik Jagran.

Dhruv Jurel maiden Test call up for India

India announced its Test squad for the first two matches of the five-match series against England set to begin from January 25 at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad.

Donning the Indian jersey is nothing new for the 22-year-old from Agra, Uttar Pradesh. He was India’s keeper-batter in the U19 World Cup in 2020 and has been a regular member of the India A and emerging Indian sides for the last year or so. But this one was special. It was for the senior Indian side. And when he told his father, an ex-army man, the reaction was priceless.

In the 16-member squad, India picked up three wicket keepers including KL Rahul, KS Bharat, and Dhruv Jurel. This is Jurel’s maiden Test call up for India.

“When I told my dad, he was ecstatic. He asked me for which Indian team I have been selected. I said ‘the one with Rohit (Sharma) bhaiya and Virat (Kohli) bhaiya’. It was an emotional moment for the entire family.

Jurel has been picked as a backup keeper. Either KL Rahul or KS Bharat – the latter being the favourite considering the team management’s reluctance to burden Rahul with keeping on Indian tracks – is likely to take the gloves in the first Test at Hyderabad on January 25. This, however, does little to dampen the spirits of Dhruv.

Dhruv Jurel

Jurel was India’s vice-captain in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup. The 22-year-old made his First-Class debut for Uttar Pradesh in 2022 Ranji Trophy match against Vidarbha.

So far, Jurel has played 15 FC games in which he has scored 790 runs including one century and five fifties with the best score of 249. He has also played 10 List-A and 23 T20s games.

In IPL 2022, Rajasthan Royals bought Jurel on his base price INR 20 lakhs. He made his IPL debut in 2023, and played 13 matches for the Royals, scoring 152 runs at a strike rate of 172.72. RR has retained for IPL 2024.

“I’m not concerned about others. I just want to focus on my game and keep believing.”

He is ecstatic at the prospect of sharing the dressing room with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and head coach Rahul Dravid. “I really don’t know what to say. I will share the dressing room with the heroes that I have watched on television. This will be an entirely different experience. I would try to learn as much as possible,” he said.

Dhruv has a first-class average of 46 in 15 matches and his last two outings resulted in 50-plus scores for India A and Uttar Pradesh but there is a popular belief that he is a better white-ball cricketer. His exploits in IPL 2023, playing as a finisher for Rajasthan Royals being the obvious reference point.

But for Dhruv Test cricket is the epitome. “Test cricket is real cricket. It tests your character, your talent, your technique. I consider myself lucky that I have given an opportunity to represent my country at this level.”

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