Ajit Agarkar pushed Rohit Sharma, Rahul Dravid to hand India debuts to Dhruv Jurel, Devdutt Padikkal: Reports

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Former Indian pacer and current chief selector Ajit Agarkar was at the forefront of handing opportunities to uncapped players Dhruv Jurel and Devdutt Padikkal in the recently concluded Test series against England.

According to reports from Hindustan Times, the Indian team management wasn’t overly confident about how Jurel would take to international cricket as he had played just 15 first-class games. However, Agarkar convinced them to hand the youngster a debut, and Jurel repaid the faith shown by the chief selector.

Here’s what a source told the aforementioned organization:

“It was Agarkar who suggested Jurel’s name. The team management wasn’t too confident about him as he was still a rookie. Picking a youngster who hasn’t had much red-ball exposure at the top level straightaway into the Indian side for an important series like England was always going to be a brave call but Agarkar had seen enough to vouch for the youngster.”

Apart from being brilliant with the gloves, Dhruv Jurel also played a couple of incredible knocks. His 90 & 39* in Ranchi were pivotal in helping India complete a sensational turnaround and win the series. The youngster deservedly received the Player of the Match award in the fourth Test for his heroics.

Ajit Agarkar stuck to young guns instead of falling back on experience

There was plenty of inexperience in India’s batting line-up, and with KL Rahul ruled out of the Dharamsala Test, the source claimed that India were contemplating bringing back the experienced Cheteshwar Pujara.

However, Ajit Agarkar once again stepped in and backed young Devdutt Padiakkal, whom he had recently witnessed score a 150 in the Ranji Trophy. On this, the source stated:

“There was a discussion about Cheteshwar Pujara, who was scoring runs in Ranji Trophy. The batting line-up literally had no experience. But Agarkar stood firm on looking ahead with Padikkal’s selection. He was present when he hit a fluent 150 in a Ranji Trophy and he believed that his height would come in handy against the inexperienced England spinners.”

At the end of the series, India’s head coach Rahul Dravid told Jio Cinema about how Ajit Agarkar pushed the team management to back the youngsters and credited the selectors for their picks. With as many as five debutants in the series, India seem to have begun a transition phase in their Test side.

Edited by Nihal

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