It was nothing short of an emotional rollercoaster for Krunal Pandya, who made a blistering fifty on his ODI debut against England in Pune on Tuesday. On reaching the landmark, the elder of the two Pandya brothers turned to the heavens to remember his late father, Himanshu Pandya, who recently passed away.
In the background, Krunal Pandya's younger brother Hardik warmly applauded the feat from the touchline. Sharing that beautiful picture, Dinesh Karthik penned down a wonderful birthday message for Krunal Pandya, which read:
"The blurred foreground, a proud background and an even happier man up above watching them. What a fairytale game it was yesterday for @krunalpandya24, but more importantly this picture is a lot about @hardikpandya7 & his love for his brother, the bond they share as a family and how they've gone from strength to strength post January when they met with a debacle. Much love brothers, and a very happy birthday to you @krunalpandya24".
Krunal Pandya makes a debut to remember
Before the start of the game, Krunal Pandya received his ODI cap from his brother Hardik Pandya.
Coming out to bat at the fall of his brother's wicket, Krunal Pandya added an unbeaten 112 runs off just 57 balls with KL Rahul to provide a thrilling finish after a mid-innings stutter that saw a flurry of wickets.
The left-hander's unbeaten knock of 58 off 31 balls helped India put up a competitive 317/5 on the scoreboard as Krunal Pandya recorded the fastest fifty by an ODI debutant.
Later in the game, Krunal Pandya delivered with the ball as well, picking up the wicket of Sam Curran for his first ODI scalp, as Team India wrapped up a comfortable 66-run win to go 1-0 up.
The two teams will play the second ODI in Pune on Friday.