Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya played an instrumental role in India’s emphatic 66-run win over England in the first ODI in Pune. Krunal Pandya, who played his first ODI, made a compelling statement and justified his inclusion as a bowling all-rounder. Following India’s victory, the 29-year old paid an emotional tribute to his late father via his official Twitter handle.
Krunal Pandya translated his IPL and domestic cricket form in full flow as he pushed India’s total past 300 from a tricky position. The hosts found themselves in a fix as they lost Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, and Shreyas Iyer in quick succession. The onus was on KL Rahul and Pandya to propel India to a competitive total and they both did.
The pair shared an unbeaten 112-run stand from 57 balls as they thrashed more than 100 runs in the final ten overs. Krunal’s 26-ball 50 surpassed the record for the fastest ODI fifty on debut and he finished with 58 not out off 31 deliveries, laced with seven fours and two maximums. Before the 29-year old’s whirlwind knock, Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan also made half-centuries, while KL Rahul also came back to form. After raising his fifty, Pandya pointed his bat towards the heavens, remembering his late father.
I hope I made you proud: Krunal Pandya to his late father
Krunal Pandya took to his official Twitter handle, claiming that his dad was always with him with every passing delivery and tears streamed down his eyes. The 29-year old attributed his father for being his biggest pillar of support and hopes that he made him proud. Krunal Pandya finished with bowling figures of 10-0-59-1, with his sole and maiden international wicket being Sam Curran.
Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence with me. Thank you for being my strength, for being the biggest support I’ve had. I hope I made you proud. This is for you Papa, everything we do is for you Papa ❤️ pic.twitter.com/djQWaytETG
— Krunal Pandya (@krunalpandya24) March 23, 2021