"Dreaming of playing for India in the 2019 World Cup", says Hardik's elder sibling and MI teammate Krunal Pandya
Mumbai Indians' mainstay and Hardik Pandya's elder sibling Krunal Pandya is highly hopeful of making it into the Indian squad for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, despite the fact that he is yet to make his debut for the senior international side.
The star was speaking for an interview conducted by his IPL side Mumbai's official website, to whom he said: "My ultimate goal is to play for the country. To play for India in the World Cup and that is the next goal to be very honest.” He has been representing the Rohit Sharma-led side since the 2016 season.
The energetic all-rounder received his maiden call-up to the India squad for their T20I series with England earlier this year, though he did not make an appearance in the final XI in any of those games. He couldn't hide his delight at receiving the call, which in turn gave him the opportunity to be alongside his sibling on the international stage as well - the duo are already teammates at MI.
“I am going tournament by tournament or you can say match by match and if I do well consistently, I'll get what I want. So obviously at the end, the ultimate aim is to play the 2019 World Cup for India. I hope the way I am going, I will achieve that as well," he said, before adding: "It is just the beginning, but the feeling was really good because from childhood you tend to dream to play for the country and suddenly when you get a call, it feels great."
Upon asked how it felt like to share space with his younger brother in the dressing room, he said, "It was like a dream come true for both of us. In the first T20I when Hardik and I shared the dressing room for India, it was a great feeling. It is a good feeling to be with Hardik in the Indian team. We have played with each other for Mumbai Indians too, so it’s good to play with him rather than playing against him."
Hardik is already a major part of the Indian contingent's plans across all formats. It may also just be a matter of time before Krunal dons the blue shirt for his country.