Krunal Pandya made sure his 30th birthday was a happy one as he hit a match-winning half-century on the eve of the day and on ODI debut at that. Having already played in the T20I format, the southpaw was handed his debut in ODIs off the back of some consistent performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He was handed his cap by his brother Hardik Pandya and the all-rounder was visibly emotional due to the fact that the Pandya brothers had lost their father this January due to cardiac arrest.
Krunal made excellent use of the opportunity he got by plundering runs at the death with the bat off the English bowlers in the first ODI in Pune. He scored a half-century in 26 balls and scripted history as the scorer of the fastest fifty by a debutant in ODI history. The left-hander also chipped in with a wicket to ensure that it was a truly memorable debut and a fitting tribute to his late father.
Hardik Pandya wishes brother Krunal on his birthday
Hardik Pandya took to Twitter today to wish his brother Krunal on the occasion of his 30th birthday. He wrote, “We’re on this journey together bhai right from the start. The highs, the lows, I’m lucky to have you by my side. Happy birthday big bro @krunalpandya24.” Hardik posted pictures of the two from their childhood to their Mumbai Indians days to yesterday’s match against England.
The Pandya brothers will be expected to take part in the second ODI against England as well where they are almost certain to be in the playing 11. Following the ODI series, their focus will shift to the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League where they would want to win the trophy for the third time in a row with Mumbai Indians who open their campaign against Royal Challengers Bangalore on April 9.