Happy Birthday Krunal Pandya: A Look at Some Brilliant Performances by Mumbai Indians' All-Rounder

Gaurav Tripathi

Indian all-rounder Krunal Pandya celebrates his 29th birthday on Tuesday (March 24, 2020). Hailing from Baroda, the elder brother of Hardik Pandya is a renowned name in Indian cricket and also is a vital cog in Indian Premier League's (IPL) most successful franchise Mumbai Indians. Be it scoring runs rapidly in the end overs or applying the brakes on opposition's scoring rate, Krunal can contribute in many ways and hence, played a crucial role in guiding MI to the title in 2017 and 2019. The senior Pandy also went on to don the national Jersey and has proven his mettle at the highest level too. Hardik Pandya Gets Engaged to Natasa Stankovic, Krunal Pandya Welcomes the Actress to the 'Crazy Family'.

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During 2016 IPL Auction, Mumbai Indians picked the senior Pandya for INR 2 Crore which was 20 times his base price. Well, the swashbuckling didn't disappoint and grabbed a lot of eyeballs with his on-field blitzes. Courtesy his consistent performances, he was drafted into the national side and made his T20I debut against West Indies on November 4, 2018. Meanwhile, let's look at times when Krunal took the opposition by storm.

86 & 2/15 Against Delhi Daredevils in Visakhapatnam

Krunal unleashed an absolute carnage in the Mumbai Indians vs Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) clash in IPL. Batting first, the southpaw was promoted to number three and he didn't disappoint. Pandya attacked the opposition bowlers from the outset and rained fours and sixes. He scored 86 off mere 37 balls, guiding Mumbai to 206 in the first innings. In reply, Pandya showcased his ability with the ball and scalped two crucial wickets. Riding on his efforts, MI won the game by 80 runs.

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47 Against Rising Pune Supergiant in Hyderabad

Big match, crunch situation and Krunal came to the party. Well, this was the summary was of Krunal's effort in 2017 IPL. Batting first in the high-voltage encounter, MI lost wickets upfront and the southpaw came to bat at number five. He brought his side's innings back on track and opened his arms after getting set. His 47 off 38 balls guided Mumbai to a respectable total of 129 runs which proved to be just enough as the Steve Smith-led side lost the game by one run.

4/36 Against Australia in Sydney

After being hit all over the park in the 2nd T20I of India's 2018 Tour of Australia, Krunal made a terrific comeback in the third and deciding T20I. On a batting-friendly track, the left-arm spinner ran through the Aussie batting line-up and took four crucial wickets. Thanks to his efforts, the home side could manage just 164 runs while batting first. In reply, skipper Virat Kohli scored an unbeaten half-century and guided the Men in Blue to a six-wicket win.

3/28 Against New Zealand in Auckland

Bowling in the small grounds of New Zealand is certainly a great challenge for any spinner. However, the senior Pandya defied all the odds in the second T20I of India's 2019 Tour of the nation. Bowling in the first innings of the game, Krunal bowled a tight line and length and put brakes on the scoring rate. He also took three wickets in the process as the Blackcaps were restricted to 158/8. In reply, Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni guided India to a seven-wicket victory.

With the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 being scheduled to be played later this year, the 29-year old will definitely want to secure a spot in the Indian squad for the gala tournament. For that, he has to come good in the 2020 edition of IPL. However, the tournament has been postponed amid the coronavirus outbreak and speculations are that the 13th season of IPL can well get called off.