I Want To Be Dhruv Jurel: India Star On Comparison With MS Dhoni

He might be drawing comparisons with Mahendra Singh Dhoni, but wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel on Friday said nobody can quite match up to the former India captain and he would rather focus on carving his own niche in international cricket. Jurel, who made his Test debut during the recently-concluded series against England, was sharp behind the wickets, solid with the bat and quite instinctive while guiding captain Rohit Sharma during DRS calls.

His assured performance prompted the legendary Sunil Gavaskar to compare Jurel with Dhoni, but the 23-year-old, who is the son of a Kargil war veteran, begged to differ. (Did You Know: Son-In-Law KL Rahul Captains LSG But Suniel Shetty Is Fan Of Multiple-Time Champions)

“Thank you so much Gavaskar sir for comparing me with Dhoni sir. But I want to say personally that no one can replicate what Dhoni sir has done,” Jurel said at the ‘India Today Conclave’.

“There is only one Dhoni. Always was and always will be. For me, I just want to be Dhruv Jurel. Whatever I do, I want to do as Dhruv Jurel. But Dhoni sir is a legend and he will always remain like that,” added the young wicketkeeper-batter.

Jurel called Tests the “purest” form of the game and said getting the India cap was a dream come true for him. (Explained: What Is The New Stop Clock Rule Imposed By ICC For T20 World Cup 2024?)

“It (getting the Test cap and getting the man of the match) hasn’t yet sunk in. It was a pleasure to play Tests, the purest form of cricket. I was sure that I would play Test cricket some day and it has been a dream-come-true moment for me.”

“I always wanted to play Tests. When I was playing U-19, my goal was to play 200 Tests, which I later realised was not possible,” said the youngster, who at the age of 12, travelled alone to a cricket academy in Noida for training from his Agra home.

Jurel also dismissed comparisons between Test cricket and Indian Premier League as unrealistic.

“(For me) IPL has not reduced the love for (Test) cricket. When I got the baggy cap (India Test cap), it was a different feeling altogether. There is no contest whatsoever (between the two). Test cricket is at a different level,” he said.

On whether he fancies his chances of making the squad for the T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA, Jurel said he wasn’t thinking so far ahead. The World Cup is to be held in June.

“To be honest, I don’t have to think much; let’s just control the controllables,” he said. (IPL 2024: LSG Welcome Gabba Test Hero Shamar Joseph With Hilarious Dig At Australia – WATCH)

Jurel also praised the BCCI’s recent move to reward those playing more Test matches, saying it was a “great initiative” but he was still trying to figure out the increase in perks. It was an emotional moment for Jurel when his father, Nem Chand, who was also present among the guests at the conclave, saluted his son for bringing laurels to the country.

“Dad was in the (Indian) Army. He wanted me to join the special forces and prepare for the NDA (National Defence Academy exams). Dad was disciplined in diet and training. (But) he was not in favour of cricket. So I did not tell dad (initially) that I had started playing cricket. He tried to convince me to continue with academics. Then I approached my mother and tried to bring both on the same page.”

“Finally, he agreed to get me a slogger bat made of Kashmir willow. When I wanted a kit worth Rs 5000-6000, my mom said she would sell her gold chain to get me one,” he recalled a well-documented anecdote from his formative years.