Former India cricketers VVS Laxman and Sunil Gavaskar lavished praises on all-rounder Krunal Pandya, who enjoyed an impactful ODI debut in the first match against England in Pune. Krunal Pandya’s half-century and his partnership with KL Rahul propelled India to 317 from a tricky position. VVS Laxman and Sunil Gavaskar admired Pandya’s unbeaten, calculated and emotional knock. He finished unbeaten on 58 off 31 balls, consisting of seven fours and two sixes.
Krunal Pandya arrived as India lost their fifth wicket in the form of Hardik Pandya apart from Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan in the space of a few overs. And the men in blue needed a responsible partnership from KL Rahul and Krunal Pandya. The 29-year old looked at ease against England’s bowlers, who looked like they would restrict India to around 280. But the duo shared an unbeaten 112-run partnership, with Krunal thrashing a 26-ball 50 – the fastest in ODI debut.
Krunal, who could not speak a word as he remembered his late father, after a whirlwind knock, earned praises from VVS Laxman. The 134-Test veteran underlined that his father would have been exceptionally proud of Krunal. Laxman also said that it was an excellent gesture from coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli to let his brother Hardik present Krunal his maiden ODI cap.
“His father would be super proud of his achievement. Krunal was very emotional when he was getting the cap. Hardik presented the cap to Krunal. That was an excellent gesture from Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri to allow Krunal’s brother to give him that cap,” Gavaskar said during the innings break.
Krunal Pandya just eased it for KL Rahul: Sunil Gavaskar
On the other hand, Sunil Gavaskar attributed the century-stand between Krunal Pandya and KL Rahul for helping India reach 317 in 50 overs. The former India opener credited Pandya for allowing an out-of-form KL Rahul back in his usual nick.
“At one stage, it looked like England would restrict India to 280 but the unbeaten partnership allowed India to get those extra runs. Krunal just eased it for KL Rahul,” Gavaskar conceded.