Krunal Pandya heaps praises on brother Hardik following slender win over KKR
Hardik's all-around abilities came to the fore in his side’s turnaround
Updated - May 8, 2018 10:39 am
Mumbai Indians, who already have garnered a reputation as the slow starters are on course for a trademark late-season charge into the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs, thanks largely to some impressive performances by all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The defending champions lost their first five matches but still reached the 2014 playoffs before completing a fairytale tournament victory a year later after losing their opening four fixtures.
Previously, in the 2016 edition, the Rohit Sharma-led side won only one out of their first four matches before they appeared to shed the tardy-starter tag last season, going on to win their third IPL title after 10 wins in 14 group stage games. In the process, they also became the most successful team in the league.
The lack of victories at the start of the campaign returned to haunt them again this season as well. Mumbai lost five of their opening six games, appearing doomed to miss out on the playoffs as their title defence faltered. However, once again, they have managed to arrest the poor start with three wins in their last four matches as Pandya’s all-around abilities came to the fore in his side’s turnaround.
Hardik Pandya stole the show in Mumbai’s previous fixture which they won by 13-runs over the Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday. The 24-year-old scored an unbeaten 35 off 20 balls and then dented the opposition’s seemingly comfortable chase with figures of two for 19.
The double strike means the seamer has claimed 14 victims to become the leading wicket-taker in the tournament as Mumbai moved up to fifth in the eight-team standings, two points behind the fourth and final playoff spot.
Krunal Pandya opens up about his brother
Lauding Pandya’s heroics, his brother Krunal Pandya was quoted saying, “Really, really happy for him. He has been bowling really well and he has transformed himself as a bowler. He has improved over a period of time and that’s a great sign for a cricketer.
Krunal added, “The way he’s batting also, he’s in touch. And everybody knows he is a gun fielder. I am happy that everything is coming out good for him.”