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Young Jurel Shines in Debut Series, Draws Comparisons to Dhoni

• 27 Feb, 24 • by Gaurav Sauran
Young Jurel Shines in Debut Series, Draws Comparisons to Dhoni

Dhruv Jurel, a rising star in Indian cricket, has impressed everyone with his performances in the ongoing Test series against England. Despite being compared to the legendary MS Dhoni by cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar, Jurel remains humble, acknowledging the honor of receiving such praise.

Jurel’s contributions were crucial in India’s 3-1 series victory, showcasing his potential to be a vital member of the team and perform under pressure, contributing in all aspects of the game. Dhruv Jurel showed the world that the future of Indian Test cricket is in safe hands. His calm attitude when batting under challenging situations has drawn comparisons to MS Dhoni, who’s known for his similar leadership qualities. Jurel was no different when compared as not only did he impress with his glove work but also with his batting in the series so far. The 23-year-old put on an excellent 76-run stand with Kuldeep Yadav and a valuable 40-run partnership with No 10 Akash Deep.

In the Ranchi Test, Jurel’s batting played a key role. He rescued India from a vulnerable position of 177-7 in the first innings with a brilliant 90 runs, ensuring England’s lead remained manageable. Later, chasing a target of 192 runs in the second innings, Jurel found himself at the crease again with India in trouble at 120-5 and with a crucial partnership with Shubman Gill, guided India to victory by five wickets with an unbeaten 39 runs, earning him the well-deserved Player of the Match award.

Jurel’s journey to this point has been interesting. Jurel’s inclusion in the team was initially unexpected. However, the absence of senior players like Virat Kohli and KL Rahul made the way for his debut. He seized the opportunity, making his name in history as the first Indian wicketkeeper in 22 years to win a Player of the Match award in his debut Test series. As Gavaskar pointed out, the first three innings of Jurel’s international career showed why he draws the comparison.

Interestingly, MS Dhoni was awarded last with Man of The Match on 26 Feb 2013 and Dhruv Jurel grabbed his 1st Man of the Match award on 26 Feb 2024. Jurel is the third Indian wicketkeeper to make a debut in Test cricket since Rishabh Pant’s car accident, after KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan. KL Rahul also kept wickets during the tour of South Africa.

Cricket legend Anil Kumble expressed his belief in Jurel’s potential to reach the heights achieved by Dhoni. Kumble praised his temperament, solid technique, and sharp glovework, highlighting his ability to be both a skilled defender and an aggressive attacker when needed.

“He certainly has all the credentials to get to where Dhoni reached in his career, but he’s not just shown the temperament of his technique to defend. But even when he’s attacking. Even in that first innings, he was very assured. He went after and then hit those big sixes when he was batting at the tail and, you know, hats off even behind the stumps. He’s been exceptional, especially of the faster bowlers. Spinners again took a couple of really good catches and he’s only going to improve. This is only his second test and I’m sure as he starts playing more and more, he’ll only get better and it only augers well for India and to have him in a squad is exceptional,” said Kumble.

So, does Jurel have the credentials to reach where Dhoni had in his career? While Jurel has a long way to go before reaching the legendary status of Dhoni, his exceptional debut series has sparked excitement across the nation. On February 26th, India witnessed the birth of a potential star, a young talent who paid tribute to one of the greatest wicketkeepers through his performances.

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