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“Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart” - Krunal Pandya

Krunal Pandya pays tribute to his late father. Pic: Krunal Pandya/ Twitter
Krunal Pandya pays tribute to his late father. Pic: Krunal Pandya/ Twitter
ANALYST
Modified 24 Mar 2021
News

Debutant all-rounder Krunal Pandya has paid a heart-touching tribute to his late father. He did so after his stunning knock of 58, not out off 31 balls in the first ODI against England in Pune.

Krunal Pandya created history on Tuesday by notching up the fastest fifty (26 balls) by a batsman on an ODI debut. India went on to win the first ODI by 66 runs, thanks to a few all-round performances with both bat and ball.

Taking to his official Twitter account after the conclusion of the match, Krunal Pandya shared images from his memorable debut game. Along with the pictures, he also shared an emotional message, remembering his late father. Krunal Pandya posted:

“Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence with me. Thank you for being my strength, for being the biggest support I’ve had. I hope I made you proud. This is for you Papa, everything we do is for you, Papa.”

Earlier, during the mid-innings break, Krunal Pandya spoke to the host broadcasters and dedicated the knock to his father.

"This one is for my dad. I did get emotional when I got my cap," Krunal Pandya said, being before unable to continue the conversation.

In a poignant moment, he hugged younger brother Hardik Pandya.

Apart from Pandya’s whirlwind half-century, opener Shikhar Dhawan scored 98, captain Virat Kohli 56 and KL Rahul an unbeaten 62. With the ball, the other debutant Prasidh Krishna picked up four wickets, while Shardul Thakur snared three.

Hardik Pandya shares an emotional message for Krunal Pandya

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Following his brother's sensational ODI debut, Hardik Pandya took to his social media account to share an emotional message for Krunal Pandya. He wrote:

“Papa would be proud. He’s smiling down on you bhai and sent an early birthday gift for you. You deserve the world and more. I couldn’t be happier for you bhai. This one is for you Papa @krunalpandya24.”

Krunal Pandya has turned 30 on March 24.

Although India won the match convincingly, England gave them a tough fight early in the chase. Jonny Bairstow (94) and Jason Roy (46) featured in an opening-wicket stand of 135 in 14.2 overs to give England hope.

However, once the partnership was broken, India cruised to victory to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Published 24 Mar 2021, 01:24 IST
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