Cricket

‘Had Been Waiting for This Opportunity for a Long Time’ — Krunal Pandya Reflects on a Dream Debut



'Had Been Waiting for This Opportunity for a Long Time' — Krunal Pandya Reflects on a Dream Debut

(Image: AFP)







Krunal Pandya had a dream debut as he picked 1/15 and then scored a quick-fire 21 to help India cross the line. The all-rounder later said that he had been waiting for the opportunity to play for India for a long time and felt absolutely no pressure.”I have been preparing myself for this (playing for India), lately I have been desperate for an opportunity. I knew I needed only one game to show what I am capable of,” said Pandya, talking to Star Sports after the game.

The 27-year-old added that he relishes playing in the pressure situations where he has chance to become a hero,

“You practice for tough situations and not easy situations. I felt no pressure, I was completely enjoying the game and thinking of how I started playing the game and knew that this was my opportunity,” said Pandya.

His first wicket was that of his Mumbai Indians teammate Kieron Pollard, which he described as a special moment. Pandya also praised his IPL skipper Rohit Sharma, saying he likes to keep things simple.

“Pollard is like my elder brother and I will definitely tease him about this, in fact I was teasing him on the ground. I have played a lot of cricket with Rohit and he allows you to express yourself. He likes to keep things simple,” added Pandya.

Talking about the relationship with his brother, Krunal added that they are not rivals but rather they tend to get nervous for each other.

“The bonding between us is totally different. We hardly talk about cricket and mostly like pulling each other’s leg. I get nervous when he is playing and vice-versa. It’s our parents’ hard work that today we have reached this stage, now they (parents) are just enjoying,” added Pandya.

Meanwhile, talking about the victory, India captain Rohit said that they were lessons to be learnt from the collapse which India suffered while batting,

“I thought we used the conditions well but were in trouble chasing. We knew it won’t be easy given the seamers they have, but there’s something to learn for us there about what we should do as a batting unit when conditions are not in our favour,” said Rohit.

He also lavished praise on Pandya, saying he asked for the ball when Pollard came onto bat.

“I’ve seen him closely for Mumbai Indians. He likes the situation where the team expects him to perform. He was the one who asked if he could bowl when Pollard came. When guys accept challenges and bail the team out, it’s exciting as a captain,” added Rohit.

West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite meanwhile cut a disappointed figure and said his team failed to apply themselves with the bat.

“Don’t think we applied ourselves with the bat. We were either too defensive or too attacking. Score of 130-140, could have been a winning total. As young bunch of guys, we want to play fearless cricket. We had our chance to do something for West Indies,” said Brathwaite.

The skipper also praised Oshaine Thomas, who was really impressive and accounted for both the Indian openers.

“I had a few chats with him about using this opportunity. I just hope he gets fitter and stronger, and continues to grow as a cricketer and a person. For him, the world is at his feet. We will try to guide him as well as we can. Ultimately it’s up to us, the West Indies cricket system, to pull him along and create what would be another Joel Garner or Michael Holding,” said Brathwaite.




First Published: November 4, 2018, 11:23 PM IST