'He was nowhere in picture': Ajit Agarkar, Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma rewarded for 'suddenly' scouting India youngster | Crickit
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'He was nowhere in picture': Ajit Agarkar, Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma rewarded for 'suddenly' scouting India youngster

Jun 18, 2024 03:02 PM IST

Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma and Ajit Agarkar's gamble on India's 23-year-old rising star paid off.

Captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid and chairman of selectors Ajit Agarkar have played a key role in giving Indian cricket some of its most incredibly talented youngsters. While the current crop of established players kept their places, the emergence of the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh and others has ensured that Indian cricket is in safe hands even when the legends ride into the sunset. The next generation of cricketers is ready to take over when the time comes and the transition is expected to begin starting the T20Is.

India's captain Rohit Sharma (2nd from left), coach Rahul Dravid (centre) and BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar(ANI)
India's captain Rohit Sharma (2nd from left), coach Rahul Dravid (centre) and BCCI chief selector Ajit Agarkar(ANI)

This year alone, as many as six different youngsters have made a mark. Look back at the England series. Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Akash Deep, Dhruv Jurel, Devdutt Padikkal – all earned their India Test caps and impressed. Out of the five, only Patidar was a letdown; rest all fired and how? Sarfaraz and Padikkal scored fifties on debut and Akash Deep picked up a three-for in his. But for former India opener Wasim Jaffer, the one who really emerged as the surprise package for Jurel. The India wicketkeeper was a last-minute solution to India's wicket-keeping woes. With Rishabh Pant sidelined, KL Rahul injured and KS Bharat struggling for form, India turned to Jurel. And boy, did he deliver.

"I was surprised because he suddenly came into the scene. He was nowhere in the picture. Credit should be given to those who scouted him. To bring him suddenly into the Test team because he wasn't in the reckoning. Either it was Rishabh Pant, or KS Bharat, or KL Rahul. They brought him out of nowhere and realised that it can work well," Jaffer said on the TRSP Clips.

How Dhruv Jurel responded to management's faith

Jurel, who made his debut replacing Bharat in India's Playing XI in the third Test at Rajkot and scored 46, bettered it with a knock of 90 to bail India out of trouble. In Ranchi, he stood like a rock between England and their plans of bowling India out cheaply after the home team was reduced to 177/7. Jurel completed his fifty and, along with Kuldeep Yadav, resisted to keep England at bay. They stitched 76 runs for the wickets and even though Kuldeep was dismissed for 28, Jurel added crucial runs with the tail to give India a total of 307 in the first innings.

"Jurel should be patted on the back too for the way he responded, scoring 90 against England. Then in the IPL too. He has the skills. It's not just him. Actually, many more have it. It's just about getting a chance," Jaffer added.

Jurel's contribution wasn't limited to the bat. He took three catches in the match, fetching him a million-dollar compliment from the legendary Sunil Gavaskar, who likened his game awareness to the great MS Dhoni's. Jurel later thanked Gavaskar but insisted that he is nowhere close to Dhoni.

Jurel, 23, finished the series with 190 runs from four innings at an average of 63.33 and inflicted seven dismissals as India went on to clinch the series 4-1 against England.

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