Discovering potential in 6-year-old Krunal Pandya, his father shifted from Surat to Vadodara to equip him with the better cricket facilities in 1997-98. Pandya was enrolled in Kiran More’s Cricket Academy.
But the problem arose when his father developed few health complications. Under immense financial stress, Pandya used to play local tournaments in the surrounding villages and obtained around Rs. 500 for each match. Gradually, he rose through the ranks of various age-level crickets. Krunal made a lean domestic T20 debut for Baroda in the Group B encounter against Bengal in Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy in March 2013, scoring 12 runs off 11 deliveries and spending 15 runs in 2 overs.
He kick-started List A career with a brisk 28 off 20 balls against Gujarat in the West Zone match of Vijay Hazare Trophy in November 2014. After a wait of two years, Pandya achieved a fruitful first-class debut in a Group A encounter against Gujarat in Ranji Trophy in October 2016. He scored 23 runs and picked up two wickets in 17 overs.
In his debut for India ‘A’, Krunal scored a duck and remained wicket-less against South Africa ‘A’ in a Tri-nations ODI tournament in Pretoria in July 2017. He came back strongly in the third match smashing 48 runs off just 27 deliveries and bowling economically against Afghanistan. Pandya’s all-round performance helped Baroda to reach the semi-final of Vijay Hazare Trophy 2016-17. He amassed 366 runs in 8 matches at 45.75 and scalped 11 wickets at 25.09. His 70 and 3 for 32 rallied Baroda to defeat a strong Karnataka side.
In 2016, despite not having made his first-class debut yet, theMumbai Indianstalent scouts spotted his talent and franchise went after him aggressively to bag him for Rs 2.2 crores. A belligerent inning of 86 runs off 37 balls against Delhi Daredevils shot him to instant limelight in his debut IPL season in 2016. After two successful season with the franchise Mumbai Indians again drafted Krunal in the 2018 IPL auction at a whopping price of Rs 8.8 crores, making him the most expensive uncapped player in the IPL history.
In the 2017 IPL, Krunal smashed 243 runs at 34.71 at a whopping strike rate of 135.75 and bagged 10 wickets registering an economy rate of 6.83. Pandya’s 47 off 38 deliveries made a huge impact on their 1-run win overRising Pune Supergiant’s in the final and he was adjudged ‘Man of the Match’. Pandya is expected to bring the same intensity in the 2020 seaso as well.
In October 2018, Pandya was named in India's Twenty20 International (T20I) squads for their tours against the West Indies and Australia. He made his T20I debut for India against the West Indies on 4 November 2018, taking one wicket and scoring an unbeaten 21 runs off 9 balls. He was selected for India Twenty20 International team against Australia and played all three matches. In the first match he conceded 55 runs in four overs, but took 1/26 in the second T20I and won the Player of the Match award in the third match for his bowling performance of 4/36 in 4 overs.
Krunal was born on 24 March, 1991 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat to Himanshu Pandya and Malini Pandya. Growing up Krunal had to face many difficulties especially in terms of finance. Krunal's younger brother, Hardik Pandya also represents India on the international stage. The two brothers play for Mumbai Indians together in the IPL. Often called the 'Pandya Brothers', the rise of the duo has been a testament to their upbringing under trying conditions. Krunal is married to Pankhuri Sharma since 2017.