Emotional connect behind Dhruv Jurel's salute celebration on maiden Test fifty | Cricket - Hindustan Times
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Emotional connect behind Dhruv Jurel's salute celebration on scoring maiden Test half-century against England

Feb 25, 2024 02:46 PM IST

The simple gesture of a salute from Dhruv Jurel on reaching his maiden Test fifty left fans wondering what it truly meant.

In the land of MS Dhoni, another India wicketkeeper-batter emerged as the talk of the town on Sunday as Dhruv Jurel played a heroic knock of 90 which helped the home team reduce the first-innings deficit from 134, at the start of play on Day 3 in Ranchi, to just 46 runs. Despite the big effort on a rather challenging track and against the England spinners, who had wreaked havoc against the India top-order, there was no big celebration from Jurel on reaching his maiden Test fifty. But a simple gesture of salute on reaching the milestone left fans wondering what it truly meant.

Dhruv Jurel scored a valiant knock of 90 in Ranchi against England
Dhruv Jurel scored a valiant knock of 90 in Ranchi against England

England looked primed to gain a big first-innings lead with Shoaib Bashir, who picked up a four-wicker haul on Day 2, backed to run riot through the lower order. But while the spinner did complete his maiden five-wicket haul in Test cricket in the final hour of the opening session on the third morning, the damage from Jurel and Kuldeep Yadav was done.

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The lower-order stand put on a valiant stand, adding to their unbeaten 42-run partnership, to leave the England bowlers frustrated on Sunday as Kuldeep and Jurel put 76 runs together. En route, Jurel notched up a patient half-century, his first in international cricket, and then celebrated getting to the mark with a salute gesture.

In the post-innings show, it was revealed that the salute was meant for his father, a retired Havildar who fought in the 1999 Kargil war before taking voluntary retirement from service in 2008.

Ahead of his debut in Ranchi, in a video posted by BCCI on their website, Jurel said he would want to dedicate his Test cap to his father.

“If I get the India cap, I would like to dedicate this to my father because he is my hero. Whenever I feel confused, I will talk to him. He guides me. He is my hero,” he had said.

Jurel and Kuldeep got off to a sedate start on Day 3 with the former hitting the first boundary only after Ollie Robinson took the new ball. Kuldeep managed to get it in the next over against Bashir. But their resistance came to an end when Anderson ended Kuldeep's vigil.

Jurel, who already brought up his fifty by then, changed gears with Akash Deep alongside. He took on Bashir for a four and six successively smashing another maximum against the spinner to move into the 80s. But just when he looked set for the big score, Tom Hartley delivered a ripper to deny Jurel the ton.

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