As a 10-year-old, Dhruv Jurel watched MS Dhoni hit THAT legendary six which ended Team India's wait of 28 long years to lift the ODI World Cup trophy in 2011. Little did he know, he would be face-to-face with his idol more than a decade later.
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Today, the young wicket-keeper batter looks back at the defining moment that paved the way for his journey into the cricketing world.
From watching the Indian team to chasing his Indian dreams, hear it from the man himself:
On his favourite memory of India in the World Cup...
My earliest memory of watching India in a World Cup goes back to 2011. And what a tournament it turned out to be! I was only 10 years old, but the sheer sight of watching Dhoni hit those winning runs and the Indian team lifting the trophy filled me with so much excitement. I was watching the final at home with my family and all of us were clapping and cheering till the last ball. My father served in the Indian Army for about 20 years, and having come from that background, playing cricket wasn't really a career choice for me. My father wanted me to study hard and get a government job. In fact, as a kid, I wanted to join the special forces and I wasn't even thinking about cricket. But soon, I was hooked to the game, watching my idols MSD and Virender Sehwag play and win matches for India. I started playing cricket under the pretext of taking swimming classes, and once I had my family's support, I didn't look back.
On his predictions for the tournament...
Now that the World Cup is returning to India after 12 years, there's no bigger dream than to see India get their hands on the trophy again. This could possibly be the last World Cup featuring some of the Indian legends of the game and the last time India hosted this tournament, we were successful. So I think there are good chances of us winning, with our familiarity with the conditions and pitches. My prediction is Virat Kohli will finish as the Player of the Tournament, and I would be very happy if India plays Pakistan in the final and wins the trophy. That will be like a dream come true.
On his own World Cup aspirations...
The ODI World Cup is a very big tournament and it can sometimes put you under pressure, so I don't want to think too far ahead. Of course, it's a dream to represent India and win matches for the team, and I know that in my mind. But I just want to focus on the present and take it one day at a time.