Krunal Pandya repaid the faith shown in him by the selectors as his blistering cameo of 58* off just 31 balls ensured that India reached a highly competitive total of 317-5 in the first ODI against England.
The all-rounder was drafted into the Indian ODI team in their search for an extra bowling option. Although some were skeptical of Krunal Pandya's selection as a batting all-rounder, the 29-year-old responded by slamming the fastest fifty by a debutant in ODI history (26 balls).
Twitterati hails Krunal Pandya for his blistering 58*
Fans on Twitter hailed Krunal Pandya for not showing any nerves on his ODI debut and taking the England bowlers by surprise through his counter-attacking batting. Here is what they had to say about his fine knock and also the unbeaten 112-run stand between him and KL Rahul:
Krunal Pandya walked out to bat when the hosts were threatening to throw away their good start. India had lost 4 wickets for just 36 runs and a score of 300 looked far-fetched. However, the 29-year-old came out all guns blazing and helped Rahul take his time to play himself in.
Be it creaming the ball through the covers or using the pull short to perfection, Krunal's blitzkrieg left the visitors with no answers. Soon, Rahul began to get into the act and looked more fluent with each delivery that he faced.
Krunal Pandya's blinder of a knock was just the tonic India needed to finish their innings strongly. Rahul also scored a crucial half-century and the 28-year-old will be relieved to have ended his horrific run of form.
With the visitors set a target of 318, India will feel confident of defending the total. But the man of the moment is Krunal, who dedicated his maiden ODI fifty to his late father.
He broke down while talking to the commentary panel in remembrance of his father, which showed exactly how much this innings meant to him.