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Updated February 25th, 2024 at 21:11 IST

'With a salute': Indian soldier's son Dhruv Jurel reveals father's wish after gritty 91 vs England

Dhruv Jurel's performance, coupled with his determination to succeed at the highest level of the sport, served as a testament to his character and resolve.

Dhruv Jurel
Dhruv Jurel celebrate after scoring his maiden half century against England | Image: JioCinema (Screengrab)
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Dhruv Jurel's ascent to cricket's top echelons wasn't accompanied by extravagant praise or exaggerated rhetoric, reflecting his unheralded journey to the pinnacle of the sport. In the fourth Test match in Ranchi, he played a gritty innings of 91 runs for India, aiding the team in reducing their deficit going into the second innings.

Dhruv Jurel's tribute to his Kargil war-veteran father

His innings epitomized the resilience of a soldier's son, as he single-handedly steered his team away from a precarious position against a strong England side. Jurel's performance, coupled with his determination to succeed at the highest level of the sport, served as a testament to his character and resolve.

"It was for my father. He is a Kargil war veteran. Yesterday I spoke and he indirectly said, 'son, at least show me a salute'. That is what I have been doing all my growing up years. It was for him," Jurel said at the end of his most memorable day in the sport thus far.

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Nem Chand, Dhruv Jurel's father, served as a retired Havildar in the armed forces and participated in the Kargil war of 1999 before opting for voluntary retirement.

Entering the crease with India struggling at 161 for five, the 23-year-old Jurel initially partnered effectively with Kuldeep Yadav, contributing to a crucial 76-run partnership for the eighth wicket alongside the left-arm wrist spinner.

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Subsequently, in yet another display of resilience, Jurel combined forces with debutant Akash Deep to construct a noteworthy 40-run stand for the ninth wicket. Such an achievement is particularly impressive for someone appearing in only his second Test match.

"It's my debut Test series, obviously there will be some pressure. But when I got in, I just thought of what the team needed from me. The longer I stay here and make runs the better for me," Jurel said about his gameplan during the media interaction after the third day's play.

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Regarding his partnership with Kuldeep, he said, "We both come from UP, we have good understanding, played a lot of domestic cricket together, we kept talking with each other and it helped in our partnership." 

Jurel showcased his excellence not only with the bat but also with his wicketkeeping skills, earning praise for his exceptional high catches and swift reflexes behind the stumps, reminiscent of the legendary Dhoni. One catch that stood out was Jurel's dismissal of England's number 11, Anderson, who attempted a reverse flick off Ravichandran Ashwin. Jurel's agility and precision in grabbing the catch made it a remarkable moment.

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Published February 25th, 2024 at 21:11 IST

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