Ind vs SL: 3 reasons why Krunal Pandya could be India's X-factor


Krunal Pandya has made use of subtle variations in his pace and length to deceive batsmen in recent years. He has also displayed his ability to operate at the same level from around the wicket as well as over the wicket on multiple occasions.

Krunal Pandya’s subtle variations with the ball


Pandya is a great asset to use against right-handers, as affirmed by his IPL record against batting genius AB de Villiers. He is also an accurate and attacking option in the Powerplay. He isn’t afraid to pitch the ball up and risk going for big runs while using his variations to set up the best of batsmen.

Accuracy has always been Pandya’s biggest plus point and this is something India will look to benefit from. The left-armer's skillset will be particularly valuable considering the drop in form suffered by frontline spinners like Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.

Krunal Pandya was central to India’s T20I series win in his first overseas series against Australia in 2018. He recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in Australia, ending with 4/36 in the third T20I, which was also his personal best. However, he didn’t have the best of starts to the series.

Krunal has the ability to consistently bounce back from a poor outing


Krunal was smashed all over the ground in the first T20. However, he bounced back soon and put up a decent showing in the second T20, bagging figures of 1-26 in Melbourne. The left-arm spinner has conceded 40+ runs in three of his 10 T20Is so far, and between 36 and 40 in two other T20s.

That amounts to five costly spells in ten matches, but Pandya has still bounced back after every poor outing. His figures of 1/37 in Wellington against New Zealand in 2018 was followed by figures of 3/28 in Auckland. Pandya’s numbers against the top sides illustrate his ability to adapt to conditions quite well.

Krunal Pandya enjoyed a terrific ODI debut with the bat this year. He scored 95 runs in the three-match ODI series helping India to a 2-1 series win. Pandya's knocks included a 31-ball 51 in his debut innings. His ability with the bat brought in some much-needed depth to the Indian line-up.

Krunal adds depth to an ever-so brittle Indian tail


Krunal's batting ability could be valuable again during the Sri Lanka series. With the ball, however, the left-arm spinner was heavily preyed on by the English batsmen in the second ODI. He conceded a barely believable 72 runs in the six overs that he bowled.

Krunal also comes with a truckload of experience in the T20 format. He has a wide array of shots for a lower-order player, can rotate strike efficiently, and is capable of hitting big shots with ease. If India were to use him in the ODIs as well, Pandya could be placed at seven purely for his batting skills.