Krunal Pandya launched into the length delivery and deposited it over long on for a six. The next ball resulted in a four towards the same region. A fist-pump and a roar followed from the senior Pandya. Yes, it was the last over of the Mumbai Indians innings but they were batting first.
Pandya’s little celebrations after scoring 10 off the first two balls might seem a bit over the top, some might even believe it was his way of letting the MI team management know about his intentions, after all, he had been batting way too low throughout the season. But it was neither. It was actually Krunal Pandya’s way to ‘get going.’
“No no it wasn’t for anyone, that’s how I get going actually. In some of the games, I just feel like going for that extra, not like I wanted to show anyone, it’s just that I wanted to make most of those four balls. I hadn’t batted before that (In this IPL) so I was very pumped up,” Krunal told Hindustan Times during a media interaction on Sunday.
That SRH match, in which he smashed 20 off 4 balls, was not the only instance in this IPL Krunal had decided to ‘pump himself’ up with a roar, or a clap of hands. It continued in the next few games too. The reasons were maybe a dot ball to David Warner, or a tight over to Andre Russell, which Krunal believes is nothing short of gold in T20 cricket.
“It’s not about wickets only. Sometimes if you bowl 2 overs for 12 runs in T20s, that is gold,” Krunal said.
If one needed more insight to Krunal Pandya the person and how he actually approaches a T20 game, his satisfaction of playing a cameo or bowling one tight over is the ideal material.
“I have never thought about scoring those big runs. T20 is all about impactful performances. If you bowl 1 good over or bat six balls well then you can change the momentum of the game,” said Krunal.
0/23, 2/26, 0/22 are just a few examples of how those ‘impactful’ performances from Krunal in this IPL have helped MI remain in the top half of the points table. And when you try to make him confess that he wasn’t up to the mark with the ball at the start of the tournament, he quickly points out the overs he bowled in those matches.
“It wasn’t that I wasn’t bowling well. In the first game, I gave away 37 runs but you have to see at what time I was bowling. I bowled the 18th and 19th overs, so those overs are challenging and I like those challenges,” Krunal said.
Kieron Pollard had described himself and the Pandya brothers – Hardik and Krunal – as the ‘engine room’ for MI and more often than not the engine has to do the thankless but crucial job, Krunal knows this and doesn’t have an iota of a problem with that.
“Yeah, I am playing this role for the last four-five overs. This year also I am happy with the way I have been going about with my batting and bowling it is a thankless job, but I love those tough situations and I wait for those as a player,” he said.
Krunal sounded hopeful these small yet significant performances will open the doors of the Indian side once again.
“I want to make a comeback to the Indian side I’ve played 18 games in about a year. And I did quite well. I got MoM in New Zealand, in Australia and got the Man of the Series against West Indies. In batting also, I was quite happy with whatever I had done while playing for India. The way the season is going, I’m looking forward to making a comeback,” he added.