On the eve of his 30th birthday, Krunal Pandya made a dream debut for India in ODIs as he set a new world record while inspiring India to a 66-run win against England in the ODI series opener at the MCA Stadium in Pune. On Tuesday, Krunal was unable to hold back his tears as he dedicated his record-breaking fifty to his late father during the mid-inning break.
Krunal Pandya was handed his ODI cap by brother Hardik in an emotional cap presentation ceremony wherein the Mumbai Indians all-rounder was filled with emotions. Krunal looked up to the heavens and pointed his cap towards the skies.
On the field, Krunal showcased why he is one of the highly-rated all-rounders in the circuit by smashing a match-winning 31-ball 59. Krunal broke the world record for the fastest fifty on ODI debut when he got to the landmark in just 26 balls. Krunal stitched a 112-run stand in just 57 balls with KL Rahul as the duo helped India post a competitive total of 317, which in the end proved too much for the visitors.
It was an emotional outing for Krunal and his brother Hardik as the Pandya brothers played together for the first time since losing their father to cardiac arrest in January. The Pandya brothers had been through a tough phase in life over the last few months but both of them delivered for India on the big stage.
Taking to social media after India’s emphatic win, Hardik penned an emotional note to his brother.
“Papa would be proud. He’s smiling down on you bhai and sent an early birthday gift for you. You deserve the world and more. I couldn’t be happier for you bhai. This one is for you Papa,” Hardik said in his post.
Earlier in the day, Krunal Pandya had taken on Twitter to post a heartfelt note to his late father, dedicating his match-winning performance to him.
“Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence with me. Thank you for being my strength, for being the biggest support I’ve had. I hope I made you proud. This is for you Papa, everything we do is for you Papa,” Krunal wrote.