The Indian team management’s faith in KS Bharat could be starting to shake as the goalkeeper is set to be replaced by youngster Dhruv Jurel in the playing XI for the Rajkot Test. Bharat has taken over as India’s wicketkeeper since Rishabh Pant’s injury and while he is a fairly safe bet with the gloves, his batting has been far from convincing. In 7 Tests, Bharat has not scored even a half-century and his vulnerability against quality bowling attacks has reduced him almost to a walking wicket.
Bharat’s poor results of 221 runs in 7 Tests and 12 innings at an average of 20.09 sum up his struggles. He may be coming off an unbeaten 116 for India A against the England Lions, but it is his numbers for the senior team that are becoming a growing concern. And thus, with India’s batting line-up falling short of the most promising figure, more so in the second innings, a report in the Times of India suggests that Bharat’s time with the Indian team, for now, may to have finished.
“Bharat’s batting has been well below average, while his keeping has also not been great. He is not taking advantage of his opportunities. Jurel, on the other hand, is talented, has a good attitude and has a bright future. “He did. good for Uttar Pradesh, India A and Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Don’t be surprised if Jurel makes his Test debut in Rajkot,” a source told the daily.
Bharat earned his first India call-up when he was picked for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia, but with 101 runs in six innings, the 30-year-old started with more of a whimper than a bang. In the WTC final, Bharat’s innings of 5 and 23 further exposed his batting, and although he made a start against England in Hyderabad with 41, it all fell apart in the remaining three innings. The fact that he was killed by a rash knock in the second innings of the Visakhapatnam Test could well have hastened his exit.
Dhruv Trevally knocking on the door
In January, 22-year-old Jurel earned his first India call-up as a reserve goalkeeper. With the management’s decision not to accept KL Rahul as goalkeeper and the mystery of Ishan Kishan refusing to die down, Jurel was rewarded for his consistent performances for India A. Making his First Class debut against Vidarbha last year, Jurel has so far He has scored 790 runs from 15 matches and is in good form for India A. Against the England Lions, where he shared a dressing room with Bharat, Jurel scored a half-century, in addition to a knock of 69 against South Africa A. Also, representing his state team . from Uttar Pradesh, Trevally has impressed with scores of 63, 57 not out and 77.
The national circuit is not the only circuit in which Jurel has caused a sensation. During IPL 2023, he grabbed attention when he joined as an impact player for Rajasthan Royals, he smashed 32 off 15 balls against Punjab Kings. He was chosen by the Royals franchise to $20 lakh. Jurel was the vice-captain of the India under-19 team that came dangerously close to winning the World Cup in 2020.