I don’t regret missing out on the century: Dhruv Jurel

Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin (5/51), Kuldeep Yadav (4/22), and wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel (90 of 149) were India’s standout performers on Day 3 of the 4th Test against England in Ranchi on Sunday. Chasing 192 for victory, the hosts need a further 152 runs to go 3-1 up in the series, with openers Rohit Sharma (24) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (16), holding the fort, adding 40 for no loss at the end of Day 3.

Jurel spoke exclusively to JioCinema on ‘Match Centre Live’ post the day’s play. Excerpts:

On his approach to batting on Sunday: I was not able to sleep last night. I was just thinking how I could spend more time in the middle, add runs, and help the team. The more runs I scored, the less the team would require while chasing, so that was all I was thinking even while at the wicket today.

On receiving the Test cap: The moment was very precious for me, everything was in slow motion in that moment and I was just staring. My parents were very happy and emotional. Playing Test cricket was a childhood dream and it was coming true.

On his parents’ reaction to his debut: My parents are very spiritual. When I called my dad for the match, he was confused. He said the runs that you score, dedicate it to the Gods.

On batting with the lower-order: The most important thing is having faith in the tail-enders. You need to make them feel confident about their batting, stay at the crease and make them believe that this is doable.

On the competition for places in the playing XI in First Class cricket: I have believed in putting in hard work since I was a child. If people put 4-5 hours a day, I focused on giving 7-8 hours. There is no alternative to hard work. The competition is very tough in domestic cricket, so the only goal was to make the most of the opportunity you have.

On his reaction to the India call-up: When I was named in the squad, I called my parents and their happiness forced me to put it on social media. My mom doesn’t know much about the game, but she knew it was for India. My mom doesn’t watch a lot of cricket, is scared of me getting out, and she is very emotional. She just knows how many runs I scored and the catches I took.

On the difference between First Class and Test cricket: There is not a lot of difference. It is just that the number of bad balls are less. You need to be more focused and plan well, identify where you can play the shots and which bowler to target and all that.

On the salute celebration: Yes, that was for my father. Even in U-19 cricket when I scored, I used to celebrate this way. Even if my dad was not there on the ground, he must be watching it on TV, so it was for him.

On what his father said before the Test: He just said that be focused and play well, show me a salute on the ground, which meant he wanted me to score runs!

On missing out on the century and reception from the dressing room: There are no regrets. I want the team to win and lift the trophy. It was a beautiful moment, everyone was applauding and admiring but the only thing in my mind was the game is not over and I have to keep wickets next.