Krunal Pandya made a memorable one-day debut, hammering an unbeaten 58 off 31 balls, courtesy seven fours and two sixes. During the course of his innings, Krunal Pandya registered the fastest fifty by an ODI debutant, doing so off 26 balls.
Taking to his social media account, Hardik Pandya shared endearing pictures of him and his brother. Along with the pictures, the younger Pandya posted a heartfelt message, writing:
“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.”
Hardik and Krunal Pandya’s father passed away in January this year after suffering a cardiac arrest.
Coming out to bat at No. 7, Krunal Pandya featured in a whirlwind sixth-wicket stand of 112 with KL Rahul (62* off 43). The duo lifted India to 317 for 5 after they were in a spot of bother at 205 for 5. Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan top-scored for the hosts with 98, while captain Virat Kohli scored 56.
England got off to a spectacular start in their chase, as Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy added 135 for the opening wicket. However, once the stand was broken, the visitors collapsed in equally sensational fashion. Bairstow fell for 94 off 66.
Debutant Prasidh Krishna claimed four wickets for India, while Shardul Thakur again shone, snaring three scalps as England were restricted to 251.
Krunal Pandya dedicates knock to late father
Following his brilliant half-century, Krunal Pandya dedicated the knock to his late father. After reaching his fifty, the left-hander pointed his bat towards the heavens to remember his dad.
At the mid-innings break, a teary-eyed Krunal Pandya said while speaking to the host broadcaster:
“This one is for my day. I did get emotional when I got my cap.”
Choked in emotion, he could not speak any further and walked away. Krunal Pandya was later hugged by Hardik as the two brothers shared mixed emotions of joy and the regret of not having their father around to witness the same.
After his significant contribution with the bat, Krunal Pandya also chipped in with the ball. He claimed the wicket of Sam Curran and finished with figures of 1 for 59 from his allotted ten overs.