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Krunal Pandya wanted to bowl at Mumbai Indians’ teammate Kieron Pollard

"Getting his wicket was special for me."

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Brother of ace all-rounder Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, made his international debut on Sunday in the first T20I against the Windies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata and he had a decent outing. The 27-year-old took one wicket for 15 runs in his allotted four overs and then scored a brisk 21 not out off nine balls to see his side reach the target with 2.1 overs to spare. India won the match by 5 wickets after the Caribbeans scored 109 for 8 in 20 overs and took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

India had an earlier hiccup and were 45 for 4 in eight overs when veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik took over and scored a crucial 31 not out to take the side home with the assistance of Pandya. However, one of the all-rounder’s high moments in the game came when he took the wicket of Kieron Pollard, his teammate in the Mumbai Indians.

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Speaking at the post-match presentation ceremony, Rohit Sharma, who is captaining India in the three-match T20I series, praised Krunal and even revealed that the Baroda bowler was keen to take on Pollard. Rohit, who is the captain of the Mumbai Indians, said: “Krunal, I’ve seen him closely playing for Mumbai Indians. He likes the situation where the team expects him to perform.”

“He was the one who asked me ‘I want to bowl to Pollard, and get him out’. When you see guys accept challenges and bail the team out, it’s exciting as captain or as a team management,” Rohit, who failed to score big in the game after a tremendous ODI series, said.

Pandya got Pollard in his second over of the game

It all happened in the 10th over of the Windies innings. Krunal gave away 10 runs in his first over and was bowling the second. The first one saw the fielding side appealing as the ball hit Pollard’s pad but it was missing the stumps. Krunal then did the trick in the second ball as the hard-hitting Caribbean tried to hit him out of the ground again but the bat turned in his grip and the ball landed straight in the hands of Manish Pandey at long on.

It was a big wicket as Pollard is known for his damaging impact on the game at any moment. Krunal celebrated his first international wicket with a flying kiss and speaking of the rapport he shares with the Windies, said in the post-match conference: “I am going to tease him for sure. He was like a brother to me. Getting his wicket was special for me.” He also said that his flying kiss was actually a display of his love for his Mumbai Indians’ colleague.

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