Hardik and Krunal Pandya set to play alongside each other at international level for first time

Written by Vipin Darwade

For the first time in their careers, Hardik and Krunal Pandya look set to play alongside each other in an international game. The ‘Pandya brothers ‘ are a part of the T20I squad for the series against New Zealand. While Hardik is an automatic selection in the playing XI, Krunal is also sort of confirmed to play the first game of the series. They will join the Amarnath brothers and Pathan brothers in the list of brothers to be part of playing XI at the same time in an international match.

Mohinder and Surinder Amarnath played alongside each other in international cricket. Their father Lala Amarnath, the first Indian to score a Test century, also played international cricket, plying his trade in 24 Tests.

Krunal and Hardik Pandya could have played their first game together in England itself but the former wasn’t included in the playing XI in any of the three T20Is. He made his debut in the home series against West Indies, that Hardik missed due to injury. Krunal also played three T20Is in Australia. A fit-again Hardik played his first game in New Zealand and is set to make a return to T20I side as well.

Pandya came back to the squad after missing the first three ODIs after he was suspended. But, he came back strong as he proved his worth with the bat and the ball. He also showed his acrobatic skills on the field as he took a screamer to get rid of the Kiwi captain in the 3rd ODI. He seems to have come over all that has troubled him in the near past and looks like a more potent cricketer now.

While his ODI career is yet to take off, Krunal has already featured in six T20Is and is now part of the India squad that will play three 20-over games against New Zealand, starting Wednesday (February 4). He earned his maiden call-up in the shortest format of the game in England but didn’t get a chance to make his debut. His first match at the international circuit came against Windies and his journey started with a 10-run over. Beginner’s nerves, maybe? But in his next three overs, the left-arm spinner only conceded five runs and also picked up a wicket of his Mumbai Indians-teammate Kieron Pollard. He then followed it up with an unbeaten cameo of 21 runs in 9 deliveries.

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Vipin Darwade