Dhruv Jurel, the promising wicketkeeper-batter from Uttar Pradesh, is on the cusp of realizing his Test cricket dream as he prepares to don the Indian jersey for the first time in the upcoming Test series against England.
Jurel, who has already made a mark in the shorter formats, especially in the IPL last season, is looking forward to the challenge of Test cricket and is determined to develop the mental fortitude required to excel at the highest level.
Having received his maiden call-up to the Indian Test squad, Jurel is well aware of the pressure and scrutiny that come with playing on the international stage. In an interview with Rajasthan Royals' official website, he expressed his eagerness to learn how to deal with the intense pressure and criticism that cricketers often face.
“The most important learning that I'd want to take away from this series is how to develop the mental fortitude that is needed to survive at the highest level,” Jurel stated. “A lot of players get call-ups, but only a few are able to sustain themselves.”
Dhruv Jurel and his journey
Still only 22, the wicketkeeper has earned an early call-up with Ishan Kishan unavailable due to personal reasons and is keen to observe and absorb how seasoned players handle tough days, criticism, and the weight of expectations.
Jurel's journey to the Indian Test squad has been a culmination of hard work and determination. He first made his mark on the cricketing scene during the 2020 Under-19 World Cup and gained valuable experience playing in foreign conditions.
His breakthrough came in the IPL 2023 season, where he showcased his abilities as a finisher for the Royals. However, transitioning to the red-ball format was a challenge that he took on with determination.
“Adapting to the longer format was not a quick transition,” Jurel admitted. “But with so much practice, training, and early experience, I am confident that I can play all three formats equally well.”
Jurel's selection for the Test squad is a testament to his performances in domestic cricket. With 15 first-class games under his belt, he has amassed a century and five half-centuries at an impressive average of 46.47 with the bat.
His consistent performances did not go unnoticed, and now he has the opportunity to make his mark in the ultimate format of the game.
Recalling the moment he received the news of his maiden Test call-up, Jurel described it as a surreal experience. He was with the India A team, playing a tour match against England Lions when the announcement was made. The news left him and his family in disbelief.
“I was shocked. I was with the India A team, we were playing against the England Lions in a two-day match,” Jurel reminisced. “The news broke late in the night, and when I found out, I immediately called my father to tell him. His first question was, ‘Which Indian team? Aren't you already playing for one of them?' I said, ‘The same one in which Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma play.' He couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe it too.”
As he prepares to join the Indian squad, Jurel is excited to share the dressing room with familiar faces. He will reunite with Yashasvi Jaiswal, his former teammate from the Under-19 World Cup and Rajasthan Royals.
Anyone remember the Dhruv Jurel flash stumping from the U19 WC final in 2020? pic.twitter.com/UyJMnK7Dqy— Rohit Sankar (@imRohit_SN) January 12, 2024
In addition to Jaiswal's congratulatory message, Jurel also received a text from Jos Buttler, a Rajasthan Royals teammate.
The experienced wicketkeeper-batsman, who has himself played in India-England Test matches, had words of encouragement as he acknowledged Jurel's achievement.
With his maiden Test call-up, Dhruv Jurel is set to embark on a new chapter in his cricketing journey. Jurel seeks to excel in the Test arena in the World Test Championship series against England, a trial by fire right from the word go.