4th Test: Jurel impressed with how he picked lengths; was so fast in decision making, says Cook

February 26, 2024
Sir Alastair Cook said he was left impressed with how India wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel picked lengths and was quick in his decision-making

Ranchi, Feb 26 (IANS) Former England captain Sir Alastair Cook said he was left impressed with how India wicketkeeper-batter Dhruv Jurel picked lengths and was quick in his decision-making while steering the hosts to acing the chase of 192 in the fourth Test at the JSCA International Stadium here on Monday.

Playing in just his second Test match, Jurel made a career-best terrific 90 in the first innings, which kept India in the match and narrowed the deficit to 46. On the fourth day, he combined with Shubman Gill to stitch an unbroken 72-run match-winning stand for the sixth wicket to help India get over the line to win the match and series.

“What impressed me was how he picked the length. He was so fast at making the right decision. You see his trigger movement -– this was at the start of the partnership on a wide ball -– but he’s so good at getting back and forward and making the right decision at the right time for that ball,” said Cook.

“Shubman Gill played slightly differently, he’s not quite as quick on his feet but he’s still a class player Jurel, he does a little forward press and if he does need to go forward, he’s sharp, he’s quick and that little bit more explosion means when he plays a shot, he might be able to get a single,” said Cook on TNT Sports.

Cook, the former opening batter, also felt Jurel was even better than Ravindra Jadeja in the second innings and thinks the wicketkeeper-batter should come ahead of the all-rounder in the batting order. “Jadeja was just dead-batting everything, there’s no chance of getting any runs whatsoever. So even when Jurel is defending, because he’s so sharp when he’s tucking the ball on the leg-side if it’s perfect he may get a run.”

“And that’s just the balancing act that slightly better players have -– and I’m not calling Jadeja a bad player at all, he (Jurel) might just have slightly better ball maneuvering than Jadeja. “Jadeja in particular showed probably why he should be batting a little bit lower.”

“Yes, he can score runs but the ability, under pressure, to find that balance between attack and defence under pressure -– pressure does funny things to you. Jadeja is a world-class all-rounder, but batting at five there he struggled in terms of taking no risks because he didn’t want to get out or trying to put a bit of pressure back on as a batter. But Jurel found that balance perfectly with his feet movement and sharpness of mind.”

Despite losing by five wickets, England struck via their spinners to trigger India’s slide from 84/0 to 120/5 on Day Four. But Steven Finn, the former England fast-bowler, thinks Gill and Jurel were just too good to deny visitors a win.

“The game was not lost today. It was lost yesterday. India have to be given a lot of credit for their resilience to fight their way back into the game from the position they found themselves in on day two.”

“The collapse of five wickets for 36 runs through the middle-order would’ve set panic in the dressing room. There was a period today where I truly believed England would win that. You just felt as though they were circling and that they were really potent.”

“You had two young, inexperienced spinners hold their nerve in the fourth innings when your team were behind the game going into what proved to be the final day. England did a really good job of making this game last as long as it did. It just took some real class from Gill and Jurel to see them off.”

India have taken an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-game series and former England captain Michael Vaughan thinks the series win is an incredible thing to happen for the Rohit Sharma-led side.

Due to a combination of injuries, rest and personal reasons, India missed Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, K.L. Rahul, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah in the series. But the hosts still came out on the winning side to get their 17th consecutive Test series win.

“They’ve got five world-class players missing. They also lost a very important toss (in Ranchi), and they faced a first-innings deficit. It’s an incredible win for now, but also for the future of this team.”

“England wanted Jurel and Gill to play aggressively after lunch because that would give them a chance to take wickets. But they played sensibly, and just knocked it around. Shubman Gill was Mr. Calm, he played with so much clarity and control,” said Vaughan to the BBC Test Match Special podcast.



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