'Will Krunal play for India?', Pandya brothers' coach reveals their late father's concern

‘Will Krunal play for India?’, Pandya brothers’ coach reveals their late father’s concern

Krunal Pandya had a brilliant ODI debut for India as he smashed 58 runs off 31 balls and also took a wicket.

Krunal Pandya fifty
Krunal Pandya fifty. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

Krunal Pandya made his ODI debut in the first match against England in Pune on Tuesday. Like several other debutants for India in recent times, Krunal also went on to have a great start to his ODI career. His long-time coach Jitendra Singh talked about how the late father of Krunal, had a dream for him to get back in the Indian national team.

Coming out to bat at no.7, Krunal smashed 58 runs off just 31 balls, guiding India’s score well past 300. His arrival at the crease and counter-attacking batting also allowed KL Rahul to settle in before the pair forged a match-winning partnership of 112 runs from just 57 balls. Krunal also picked up the wicket of Sam Curran later in the match. 

Talking about Krunal’s late father’s ambition, his coach revealed how Himanshu Pandya would often enquire whether his elder son can once again make it to the Indian team. “’Tell me honestly, will Krunal play for India? Khelega yeh?’ is what his father used to ask. Not many know that more than Hardik, it was Krunal that his father Himanshu Bhai dreamt would play for India. I can understand where KP’s emotional reactions came from,” Jitendra Singh said as quoted by the Indian Express. 

Financial troubles meant Krunal Pandya was distressed: Jitendra Singh

After reaching his maiden ODI fifty, Krunal couldn’t handle his emotion and a few tears rolled down his cheeks while he was talking to the broadcasters. He was also seen hugging his brother Hardik and breaking down. Their father had passed away just a couple of months ago. Since his father’s death, Krunal has transformed his career breaking into the ODI team after some solid performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. 

During interaction with Indian Express, Krunal and Hardik’s coach Jitendra aka Jeetubhai talked about the difficulties which that family faced when the two boys were young. He explained that Krunal, being the elder brother had to take family responsibilities which kept him distracted for a while. 

“Himanshubhai’s heart attack was the first blow. Then his business went down. The money dried up. One dream he had was about Krunal playing for India. Hardik was still young, then. But the financial troubles meant Krunal was distressed and distracted. He was young but the elder son. As the years went by, especially during financial troubles, he started to drift. ‘Paisa kahan sey aayega (where will the money come from), how will the household run, should I get a regular job once I grow up? Thoughts like that,” coach Jitendra said.