Sabyasachi Bagchi, Kolkata: We all know that all-rounder Krunal Pandya is the brother of Indian cricket team’s star all-rounder Hardik Pandya but that is not his only identity. He made his name while playing for three-time Indian Premier League champions Mumbai Indians after they picked a rookie like him back in 2016 with a whooping price of 2 crore rupees. He is a player of Baroda in the domestic circuit and the Mumbai franchise picked him after he played first-class cricket for Baroda. Though he performed really well for Mumbai but they didn’t retain him this season during the players retention procedure. Krunal didn’t take part in the recently concluded Ranji Trophy season as he was injured and making a return in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for his state side Baroda where they will face Bengal on January 21 in Kolkata. Ahead of that he talked to media about his future plans and personal life. Here goes the conversation:
#Targeting IPL to prove his worth again
I performed well for Mumbai Indians in last two seasons and it has given me a lot of exposure in my career, but for me that is past. Now I am just focusing on the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, we have performed well in four matches of the preliminary round and I think if we can continue this momentum the team will definitely do well in the knock-outs. I don’t bother about which team I am playing for in IPL, if any team picks me at the auction I will give my hundred percent for the side.
#Getting valuable inputs from the legendary cricketers
It was a dream come true moment for me as I shared the dressing room with Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, Shane Bond, Anil Kumble and Jonty Rhodes. I got a lot of valuable tips from them during that time. After that during the India A tour I got a lot of inputs from Rahul Dravid. They all are really very down to earth; whenever I went to them for any help they had always helped me. Everyone knows that my style of play is totally different than Rahul Dravid, but during the stint with India A he helped me to grow my mental strength.
#Relationship with brother Hardik Pandya
We don’t have much difference in our age and we always share a friendly relationship among each other. Due to the jam packed cricket schedule we used to meet each other only during family reunions, but we used to talk through phone daily. He always helps me to rectify myself if I do anything wrong and I do the same with him and it always helps us to perfect ourselves.
#Handling the pressure alone at Baroda
It’s really hurt the team when you don’t get the services of Yusuf Pathan and Irfan Pathan in your side, but still you have to perform for the state side and T20 is chat kind of a format where you always have to handle pressure. If you take added pressure it would put added pressure on the team and that’s why I don’t take any added pressure on myself and play my natural game.
#Reason of pre-wedding photo-shoot on cricket
It was Pankhuri’s idea. As I am a cricketer and she is really very cricket passionate, I thought of doing this and I have enjoyed that a lot during the shoot.