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Dhruv Jurel wants to use India experience to develop ‘mental fortitude’

It’s been just a week since Dhruv Jurel received his maiden India call-up for the first two Tests against England, but he’s already identified what he wants to learn from his experience: how to develop mental strength to deal with pressure and criticism that comes with playing at the highest level.

“The most important learning that I’d want to take away from this series is how to develop the mental fortitude that is needed to survive at the highest level,” Jurel told Rajasthan Royals’ official website. “A lot of players get call-ups, but only a few are able to sustain themselves.”

“Once you’re in the public eye on a much bigger stage, you are constantly judged on your performances. So I really want to know how these players deal with bad days, how they face criticism and pressure,” Jurel said. “I am going to try and absorb it all.”

“I was shocked. I was with the India A team, we were playing against the England Lions in a two-day match,” Jurel said.

“The news broke late in the night and when I found out, I immediately called my father to tell him and his first question was, “Which Indian team? Aren’t you already playing for one of them?”. I said, “The same one in which Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma play”. He couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe it too.”

Jurel scored a 38-ball 50 in that tour game, in which KS Bharat, another wicketkeeping option in India’s squads for the first two England Tests, also scored a half-century.

Jurel has 15 first-class games in his bag and has racked up a century and five fifties at an average of 46.47 with the bat.

He burst onto the scene in the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, and then had a breakthrough campaign as a finisher in IPL 2023, but Jurel says adapting to the longer format was not a quick transition.

“As part of India U19, I gained massive exposure playing in foreign conditions and different types of pitches. Then with the Royals, I had a good first IPL season. And that was all white-ball cricket,” he said. “But then came the longer format, and that’s a different ball game altogether. It took me a while to adapt myself to the demands of red-ball cricket.

“But with so much practice, training and early experience, I am confident that I can play all three formats equally well.”

Now, Jurel will again share the dressing room with Yashasvi Jaiswal, with whom he was team-mates in the Under-19 World Cup as well as for Rajasthan Royals.

“Yashasvi and I go a long way back,” Jurel said. “We played together in our U19 days and it has always been a lot of fun. I am looking forward to sharing this experience with him too.

“He was one of the first ones to text me and congratulate, saying “Well-deserved bhai, very happy for you”.”

Jaiswal, though, wasn’t the only Rajasthan Royals team-mate who texted Jurel. He also got a message from a wicketkeeper-batter who has experienced India-England Tests himself.

“I also got a text from Jos [Buttler] bhai, he said “Good to see you in the Indian team, long way to go”,” Jurel said.

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