Krunal Pandya has just inched a bit closer towards his “dream” with a maiden India A call-up but the “ultimate goal” is to play the 2019 World Cup in England alongside younger brother Hardik, reported PTI.
Krunal was recently selected for the A squad for a limited-overs series in South Africa, “The aim is not just to represent India for a couple of matches here and there but to play for as long as possible. It would be a dream come true if I and Hardik can together play for India in the 2019 World Cup. But right now, focus will be on doing well for India A,” he said.
Krunal called Hardik his closest buddy, had revealed that the latter had called him from Antigua after getting the news of his ‘A’ team selection. “Hardik was ecstatic. He called me and said that ‘You are getting there’. Having already played for India, he has an insight about top-flight cricket and I always discuss with him to pick finer points. There can’t be a closer buddy than your own brother,” Krunal said.
While he has been one of the vital component for the Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League triumph, the 26-year-old attributes his success to the hard work he had put in to counter the ‘Second Season Syndrome’ that affects many cricketers. The southpaw scored 243 runs and took 10 wickets in 13 IPL games.
“I knew opposition teams would study my game during this edition of the IPL after a reasonably good first season. I had to work on my weaknesses as the second season becomes the very key in an international level tournament like IPL. I worked on both aspects of my game and it paid off,” Krunal said.
For the older among Pandya siblings, his performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy also helped him make a case for himself in the 50-over format.
“It was a tough first few months as I had undergone surgery for quadriceps muscle injury. I was out of action for four to five months. The Vijay Hazare Trophy was like my comeback tournament for Baroda.
“We played the semi-finals and I had the highest runs (366) and highest wickets (11) for our team. I had a couple of 30s in the Deodhar Trophy. All these performances helped my confidence,” Krunal, who has played 14 List A and 40 T20 matches, said.
His slow left-arm orthodox bowling has been restrictive but Krunal backs his style. “My thinking is simple. When you are batting, think like a bowler to stay one step ahead and vice versa while bowling. Reading the mind of an opposition player is very important,” he said.
His skill set is pretty similar to Ravindra Jadeja, who is an established India International, and Axar Patel, who will be with him on the flight to South Africa but the Baroda lad wants to focus on his own game.
“I would only like to focus on things which are in my control. I can’t perform thinking about who are my competitors. My job is to maximise my potential and perform to the best of my abilities. I will strive doing that,” the Gujarat all-rounder said.