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Sachin Tendulkar doesn't praise me very often, it's special when he does: Krunal Pandya

India Today logo India Today 17-05-2016
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Mumbai Indians have the nack of peaking during the business-end of the Indian Premier League. Last season, when they were crowned champions, was filled with nail-biting finishes as MI won seven out of their last eight league games to sneak through to the playoffs.

This season has followed a similar script for Rohit Sharma & Co. They started slowly and picked pace mid-season and had to win two in two when they took on the high-flying Delhi Daredevils at their new home Visakhapatnam yesterday.

And their 25-year-old all-rounder Krunal Pandya, who was in the shadows of his brother Hardik for a long time, unleashed himself against a quality DD bowling attack. Riding on a solid platform set by Mumbai openers Rohit Sharma and Martin Guptill, Krunal, who was promoted to bat at No. 3, set the stadium on fire right from the word go. The left-handed batsman smoked a 37-ball 86 before coming back to haunt Delhi with the ball. His all-round effort ensured that Mumbai had humbled Delhi and stayed in contention for the playoff spot.


However, Krunal, who is ticking all the right boxes now, rues not getting enough appreciation from his team's mentor Sachin Tendulkar. "It doesn't happen often. I can approach him anytime if I need any suggestion, which helps the team morale," Krunal told

Krunal also said he was blessed to have the batting legend around in their dressing room. "I feel really blessed that he is a part of Mumbai Indians when I am playing. It seriously feels amazing. The respect and knowledge which he possesses is crucial for our team," he said.


Krunal revealed it was coach Ricky Ponting's decision to promote him in the batting order. The left-hander said the Aussie great had asked him to go and express himself. Boy, didn't he do that well?

"It was Ricky's decision; I was padded up actually when Rohit got out. Ricky told me I am going in next and to go there and express myself, you play the way you play. It came out good."

"He was really happy with the way I played and the way I executed my shots," Krunal added.


Krunal said he was not disappointed after falling 14 runs short of his maiden IPL ton and added that the triple-figure was never in his mind during the innings.

"No not disappointed. I don't think of myself when I am playing, whether am bowling or batting. I just think of the team. There was no pressure as such that I had to score a hundred, I was just going after the bowling."

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