'Jurel' in the crown: India all out for 307 after Dhruv Jurel's splendid 90

Jurel showed that he can soak in pressure with utmost ease, and that India's long search for a wicketkeeper-batter seems to finally have ended

Dhruv Jurel in action against England (photo: PTI)
Dhruv Jurel in action against England (photo: PTI)


Dhruv Jurel hit a resilient maiden 50 in Test cricket as India produced an incredible fightback to cut down England’s first-innings lead to 46 runs before being dismissed for 307 at the stroke of lunch on the third day of the fourth Test in Ranchi on Sunday.

Following up his dogged 46 in his debut Test in Rajkot, Jurel produced a career-best 90, showing that he can soak in pressure with utmost ease, and indicating India's long search for a wicketkeeper-batter seems to finally have ended.

After getting to his fifty from 96 balls, the Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batter quickly changed gear, taking the English spin duo of Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley to the cleaners. He hurried for a single off Hartley to bring up his maiden 50 in Test cricket, in an innings of supreme composure.

Later, he and Akash Deep put on an entertaining 40-run stand off just 75 balls for the ninth wicket. Dropped on 59 by Ollie Robinson, Jurel smacked Bashir for a back-to-back four and six and raced to 90 from 149 balls before left-arm spinner Hartley denied him a well-deserved century by cleaning him up with a quicker delivery.

Young off-spinner Bashir, too, completed his maiden Test five-wicket haul by trapping Akash Deep to return with figures of 5 for 119 in his second Test.

Jurel found an able ally in Kuldeep Yadav, who made 28 off 131 balls, in an innings of utmost grit and determination as the duo put together 76 valuable runs for an eighth-wicket stand that dragged the deficit to below 100 runs.

Under overcast and gloomy conditions with no hint of sun, India were reeling at 219 for 7 when the overnight duo of Jurel and Kuldeep took their guard, 134 runs in arrears.

Kuldeep displayed superb application on a pitch with variable bounce as he played those 131 balls not only with immaculate defence but also rotated the strike. Pacer Robinson attacked his legs bowling round the stumps, and moved the ball away from him, but Kuldeep was solid in defence and showed fine judgment in leaving the ball.

His determined innings finally came to an end when a James Anderson delivery stayed a touch low, took a bottom edge and skidded through his forward defence to rattle the timber.

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