India's training session hints Sarfaraz, Jurel debut

By Real11 - Feb 14 2024 133 Views

Jurel, Sarfaraz may make their test debut against England 

Plagued by injuries, India could head into the third test against the three lions with two debutants in domestic run machine Sarfaraz Khan and hard hitting wicket keeper batter Dhruv Jurel on a surface that will be very similar to the opening two test matches. Last match’s centurion Shubman Gill did not attend the optional training on Tuesday. It must be taken into account that Gill had hurt his index finger while fielding in the second test in Visakhapatnam. He wasn’t seen on the field during England’s second innings but said the injury isn’t too grave. 

With Shreyas Iyer being dropped and KL Rahul yet to recuperate, doors have opened for Sarfaaz, who has been one of the most consistent performers in the domestic circuit. 

In Jurel’s case, it is his dominant batting quality that could earn him a  nod ahead of KS Bharat, who has struggled to muster a single half century in seven consecutive Tests. 

With Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz and Jurel slotting in at number four, five and six respectively, Ravindra Jadeja is the likely candidate at Number 7.  Patidar made his debut in Visakhapatnam. With the transition phase near approaching, a peek into the future of India’s Test side became evident on Tuesday when the team hit the nets session in order to prepare for the third test. 

Usually lost for options when it comes to selection and perpetually dominant at home, India have had to make it work from a mix of veteran and rookie players against Ben Stokes and co in the first two tests of the five match series in the absence of regular starters. Patidar and Sarfaraz were both seen sweating it out in the new slip cordon when India commenced their training session at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium. 

While Patidar was fielding at gully, Sarfaraz was positioned at first slip. Accompanying the duo was the southpaw Yashasvi Jaiswal, who celebrated as if he was playing a game, throwing the ball high in exultation. 

Having had a look at the track upon arrival, skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid watched the proceedings from a distance for a while before the former decided to spend some brief time in the middle. Meanwhile, the coach was once again sighted having a long conversation with the local groundsmen close to the end of the session. 

Post the slip catching session, both Patidar and Sarfarz were seen practising catches at close-in positions- silly point and short leg which gave us an idea of their possible roles in the forthcoming tie. 

Rohit then joined the batting session with Patidar and Sarfaraz, who both had faced local bowlers and Indian bowlers for an extended period. In the adjoining nets, KS Bharat, whose shortage of runs have produced the possibility for further selection alterations in the playing XI, trained separately alone. Ace all rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who scored a ton the last time he played at this venue, batted more than he bowled on Tuesday. Each of the four Indian spin bowlers were in action during the team’s training session for a second day on the bounce. 

Elite pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah joined the team on Tuesday evening along with Devdutt Padikall (Rahul’s replacement) and Akash Deep.    

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