Dhruv Jurel Wins His First Call-Up As India Names a 16-Man Team For The First Two Tests Against England

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) named a 16-man squad for the first two Tests against England, which begin on January 25. 22-year-old Dhruv Jurel received his first call-up as a backup wicketkeeper, as Ishan Kishan, who had reportedly taken a break from cricket due to mental fatigue, was not included.

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Dhruv Jurel wins his first call-up as India names a 16-man team for the first two Tests against England
Credit: Udayavani

The roster also does not contain experienced fast bowler Mohammed Shami, who is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the 2023 ODI World Cup campaign in November last year. He was optimistic about returning to the Test team, but the selectors most likely wanted him to recuperate more before the remaining phases of the series against England.

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Aside from Shami, the fast-bowling lineup lacks Prasidh Krishna, who appeared in both games of the Test series in South Africa, taking just two wickets for 130 runs. It was previously reported on Friday that the pacer sustained a quadriceps injury on Day 1 of Karnataka’s Ranji Trophy match against Gujarat in Ahmedabad.

Meanwhile, Avesh Khan has kept his position in the team. Following his success for India A during the South Africa trip, he was promoted to the main team ahead of the match in Cape Town. Avesh therefore joins vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, and Mukesh Kumar to form India’s familiar-looking powerful pace attack, while Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, and Kuldeep Yadav make up the spin combination.

The surprising inclusion to the group is Uttar Pradesh player Jurel, who will serve as a backup wicketkeeper to KL Rahul, who maintained wickets in both Test series matches in South Africa, and KS Bharat. The kid was a member of India’s A squad, which played two matches against South Africa in December of last year. Jurel scored 69 in the second match at Benoni, and 63 in Uttar Pradesh’s first Ranji Trophy group game against Kerala. 

The 22-year-old, who made his First-Class debut against Vidarbha last year, has scored 790 runs in 15 matches at an average of 46, including a century and five fifties on the local circuit.

This will be India’s third assignment in the current World Test Championship cycle, and its first at home. They previously won the two-game series in the West Indies 1-0 after the second game was tied, and they held hosts South Africa to a 1-1 draw in a two-game series earlier this year.

India’s squad for first two Tests vs England: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul (WK), Shreyas Iyer, KS Bharat (WK), Dhruv Jurel (WK), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mukesh Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah (VC), Avesh Khan

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