Team India loses patience with KS Bharat; Dhruv Jurel set to debut for in 3rd Test against England at Rajkot: Report
KS Bharat's time with the Indian Test team could well be up amid reports that Dhruv Jurel is set to make his debut in the 3rd Test against England.
The Indian team management's faith in KS Bharat might just be starting to shake as the wicketkeeper is all set to be replaced by the young Dhruv Jurel in the Playing XI for the Rajkot Test. Bharat has taken up India's wicketkeeping role since Rishabh Pant's injury and while he is a pretty safe bet with the gloves, his batting has been far from convincing. In 7 Tests, Bharat hasn't scored a single half-century and his vulnerability against quality bowling attacks has borderline reduced him to a walking wicket.
Bharat's poor returns of 221 runs from 7 Tests and 12 innings at an average of 20.09 sums up his struggles. He may be coming off an unbeaten 116 for India A against England Lions but it's his numbers with the senior team that is becoming a growing concern. And hence, with India's batting line-up not cutting the most promising figure, more so in the second innings, a report in the Times of India suggests that Bharat's time with the Indian team, for now, may be up.
"Bharat's batting has been well below-par, while his 'keeping hasn't been great either. He isn't making use of his chances. Jurel, on the other hand, is talented, has a good attitude and has a bright future. He has done well for Uttar Pradesh, India A and the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Don't be surprised if Jurel makes his Test debut at Rajkot," the daily quoted a source as saying.
Bharat earned his maiden India call-up when he was picked for the Border-Gavaskar trophy against Australia, but with 101 runs from six innings, the 30-year-old began more with a whimper than a bang. In the WTC final, Bharat's innings of 5 and 23 exposed his batting even further, and while he did get off to a start against England in the Hyderabad with 41, it all came crashing in the remaining three innings. That he perished playing a rash stroke in the second innings of the Visakhapatnam Test could well have sped up his exit.
Dhruv Jurel knocking on the door
In January, 22-year-old Jurel earned his maiden India call-up as a back-up wicketkeeper. With the management deciding against KL Rahul as keeper, and the Ishan Kishan mystery refusing to douse, Jurel was rewarded for his consistent performances for India A. Making his First-Class debut against Vidarbha last year, Jurel has thus far scored 790 runs from 15 matches and is coming off good form for India A. Against the England Lions, where he shared the dressing room with Bharat, Jurel scored a half-century, to go with a knock of 69 against South Africa A. Besides, representing his state team of Uttar Pradesh, Jurel has impressed with scores of 63, 57 not out and 77.
Domestic isn't the only circuit where Jurel has made waves. During IPL 2023, he made heads turn when coming on as an impact player for Rajasthan Royals, he smashed 32 off 15 balls against Punjab Kings. He was picked by the Royals franchise for ₹20 lakh. Jurel was vice-captain of the India Under 19 squad that came perilously close to winning the World Cup in 2020.
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