Contrasting Debuts: Thunderous Sarfaraz Khan, Assured Dhruv Jurel Announce Their Arrival

Sarfaraz Khan (left) and Dhruv Jurel. (BCCI Photo)

Sarfaraz Khan (left) and Dhruv Jurel. (BCCI Photo)

From the thunderous entry of Sarfaraz Khan into the Test arena to a very quiet and assured debut for Dhruv Jurel, Rajkot witnesses two of India’s gen-next make seamless transition

Day 1 was all about Sarfaraz Khan. Even on a day where two centuries were hit by captain Rohit Sharma and local boy Ravindra Jadeja respectively, the limelight was hogged by a very “courageous” Sarfaraz innings on debut.

It was a big fat party on social media timelines even before the 26-year-old walked out to bat as the visuals of him receiving the cap and getting all emotional with his father and wife went viral in lightning quick time. The youngster didn’t take a lot of time to make impact with the bat either as the 66-ball 62, laced with nine boundaries and a six, announced his arrival on the biggest stage in emphatic fashion.

The social media party continued after-hours and the Sarfaraz hangover continued before the focus shifted to Dhruv Jurel, the other debutant in the game. Moments after Sarfaraz received his cap from former India captain Anil Kumble, Jurel got his from Dinesh Karthik. There was a beautiful speech by DK which followed but that was it. It was business as usual for the 23-year-old after that as he commenced his pre-match routine before easing back into the change room, and remained there for rest of the day.

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India’s strong day meant only five wickets fell and Sarfaraz’s run-out close to stumps prompted the management to send Kuldeep Yadav as the night watchman. Extending Jurel’s wait for his biggest moment under the sun yet. The moment finally arrived in the morning session of the second day as Kuldeep’s dismissal brought his younger teammate from Uttar Pradesh to the crease.

Just two seasons old in the First Class circuit and with only 15 games under his belt, Jurel, is still finding his feet but the recent half-centuries for India A, vs South Africa A and England Lions respectively, and unavailability of Ishan Kishan put him in serious contention. Completely different skill-set but unlike Sarfaraz, Jurel didn’t put in the long domestic grind before making his Test debut but he showed why he is so highly rated.

The ramp off Mark Wood, step out six against Rehan Ahmed, the patience with which he dealt both James Anderson and Wood helped him tick all boxes on an impressive debut. It didn’t have the swagger of a Sarfaraz but had the big-game temperament which helped him look largely untroubled during his 104-ball 46.

There were a couple of drop catches when he was in the 30s but apart from those two moments, he didn’t put a foot wrong and was very frustrated with himself after getting out on 46. In the same over, he hit a beautiful six off Ahmed but missed out on his maiden fifty as he nicked one, while trying to cut one towards the off-side, to Ben Foakes behind the stumps. An angry smash of the bat into the right pad followed as he commenced the slow walk back to the change room where his captain and teammates were applauding a quality innings.

It’s unlikely that Jurel will change the theme of social media party to himself but with his trusted methods and approach, the youngster from Agra made the country take note of his talent. No matter who remains the toast of social media, Team India wouldn’t be complaining as two for the future have arrived in style.

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