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Dhruv Jurel’s maiden India Test fifty wins him million-dollar ‘another MS Dhoni’ shoutout from Suni Gavaskar on air

Dhruv Jurel scored his maiden Test fifty and although he missed out on a century by 10 runs, he earned himself plaudits from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.

Dhruv Jurel stood like a rock between England and their plans of bowling India out cheaply as the youngster struck his maiden half-century to keep his team alive on Day 3 against England in Ranchi. Jurel’s career-best knock of 90 propelled India to 307 – with Shoaib Bashir picking up his first-ever five-wicket-haul in First-Class cricket – and reduced the deficit to just 46 runs. Resuming the Indian innings on 219/7, Jurel grew in confidence, while his overnight partner Kuldeep Yadav resisted to take the total above 250. Immediately after England took the second new ball, Jurel struck a boundary down the ground off Ollie Robinson, who looked off-colour. Even Rahul Dravid applauded the stroke from the dressing room.

Dhruv Jurel in flow. (PTI)

Having already impressed in his debut Test at Rajkot two weeks ago, scoring a 46, Jurel overtook his previous highest score and kept India live in their fight. When Jurel and Kuldeep joined hands, India trailed England by 176, and for them to have brought it down to less than 100. Special mention to Kuldeep who stood doggedly at the other end, playing the longest innings of his Test career, but the vigil ended when he played on to a delivery from James Anderson, giving the veteran England pacer his 698th Test wicket.

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Jurel and Kuldeep batted well to add 76 runs for the 8th wicket before the partnership was broken. But despite the wicket, Jurel carried on, taking a single off Tom Hartley to complete his fifty off 96 balls. Jurel celebrated the milestone with a little salute gesture directed towards his father, as Rohit Sharma and Sarfaraz Khan came together in the dressing room to applaud the 23-year-old’s effort. Remember, India were tottering at 177/7 when Jurel, their last recognised batter came to bat, and over the course of the next four hours, the youngster has been exceptional in his strokeplay.

After Kuldeep was dismissed, Jurel took matters into his own hands, unleashing a string of big hits. He struck four sixes and batted well with the tail before India’s luck ran out. Bashir had Akash Deep out LBW to bring India down to the last wicket, and even though Jurel inched close to his milestone with a disdainful six over cow corner, he was outfoxed by Hartley last over before lunch.

Dhruv Jurel ‘another MSD in the making’: Gavaskar

Jurel’s knock made many a head turn, but his biggest compliment of the day, quite possibly of his career, came from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who called the young keeper ‘another MSD in the making’. Impressed with his batting no doubt, Gavaskar hailed Jurel’s wicketkeeping, game awareness and presence of mind as he spotted shades of the great Mahendra Singh Dhoni in him.

“Of course he has batted well, but his keeping, his work behind the stumps has been equally brilliant. Just by looking at his game awareness, I want to say that he is another MS Dhoni in the making. I know there can never be another MSD but you know the presence of mind that he has, MSD also when he started, it was that. And Jurel has that game awareness. Street-smart cricketer,” Gavaskar said.

“Today he missed out on a century but make no mistake this young man will go on to score many centuries because of his presence of mind.”

India still have a long way to go in the match. On a surface that may not be spinning too much but is certainly staying low, even a lead of 46 runs can be handy for England, who will not find batting in the third innings easy. Jurel’s vital innings comes as another huge positive for India, who have already benefitted with Sarfaraz Khan’s twin fifties in the Rajkot Test.


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