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IND vs ENG: Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel debut for India against England in Rajkot Test.

India handed the Test caps to wicketkeeper Dhruv Jurel and dynamic middle-order batter Sarfaraz Khan. The duo's debut came on Thursday as India opted for four changes in their lineup for the crucial third Test clash against England in Rajkot. With fresh talent injected into the squad, all eyes are on Jurel and Khan as they step onto the grand stage of Test cricket, eager to make their mark and contribute to India's quest for victory.

Former legendary spinner Anil Kumble bestowed the Test cap upon Sarfaraz Khan, while wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik presented the cap to Dhruv Jurel.

Sarfaraz Khan's inclusion in the squad comes after his consistent performances, particularly in the Ranji Trophy, where his explosive batting prowess has been hard to ignore with an impressive first-class record of 3912 runs at a remarkable average of 69.85, along with 14 centuries and 11 half-centuries, Sarfaraz has established his dominance in the domestic circuit. His promising performances for the India 'A' team against the England Lions further solidified his credentials for a call-up to the national side.

During the India 'A' series, Sarfaraz exhibited his skill with the bat, achieving a fifty in the first unofficial Test and following it up with a remarkable innings of 161 in the second, underlining his ability to perform under pressure and against quality opposition.

The absence of Virat Kohli and KL Rahul from the third Test has forced the selectors into going for a young middle-order in Rajkot.

As Jurel comes into the Test side, having already made his India debut in the T20I format, it means KS Bharat sits out. Bharat made some noticeable mistakes as a stumper and needed to convert his starts into a sizeable knock with the bat.

Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Siraj have returned to the playing XI for India. Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar have been pushed out, with the duo returning to the lineup. For England, Mark Wood has come in with Shoaib Bashir sitting out.

India won the toss and elected to bat against England in the pivotal third Test of the five-match series on Thursday. The series stands deadlocked at 1-1, adding extra intensity to the encounter.

Rohit said, “We’ve made four changes. There are some i coming back. Two debutants: Dhruv Jurel and Sarfaraz Khan. Siraj and Jadeja are back. Axar and Mukesh miss out.

“Good pitch, better than the last two ones we played in. We know Rajkot is supposed to be a good pitch, will behave differently as the game goes on. Good toss to win.

“We played well as a group. Guys stood up when they had to last game. The next three games will be as exciting as the first two. You can’t keep the bigger picture in mind. We’ll have to keep focus on what we can do here and come out on top,” he added.

Meanwhile, England's captain, Ben Stokes, marks a historic milestone, stepping onto the field for his 100th Test appearance, a testament to his remarkable career in cricket.

India XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma(c), Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Sarfaraz Khan, Ravindra Jadeja, Dhruv Jurel(w), Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj

England XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes(c), Ben Foakes(w), Rehan Ahmed, Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson

Edited by: Kaiyah Ellison


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