Being picked in the national team for the T20I series against West Indies and Australia, all-rounder Krunal Pandya's joy knows no bounds. With the series against Windies starting from November 4, Pandya could make his India debut as soon as the coming Sunday. While his younger brother Hardik is still recuperating from an injury, Krunal is eager to don the blue jersey as soon as possible.
In an interview with The Times of India (TOI), the left-hander talked about his selection, family's reactions and MS Dhoni.
On his selection for the upcoming T20I series Pandya said that he was quite surprised as the announcement came late at night. "I was really surprised and obviously, happy when I got to know of my selection. The team was announced at 10.30pm. Pankhuri (his wife) told me that I was selected for the T20s against West Indies. After that, when I logged on to Twitter, I saw my name in the Indian T20 team for Australia also. Hardik had gone to sleep by then, as he had to train in the morning. However, he came out after he got to know and was all excited," Krunal told TOI.
He also credited his wife for his selection saying: "I got married in December, and in January, I became the most expensive uncapped player in the IPL (he was bought by MI for Rs 8.8 crores, 22 times more than his base price). A few months later I was picked for the Indian team in England when I least expected it since I was with the India 'A' team there, and now this. Obviously, lady luck is working."
Even though Hardik is younger of the two siblings, he made his India debut more than two years ago. But with the selection of Krunal, the long-cherished dream of the brothers playing together for India might be fulfilled soon. On the matter of what advice Hardik had for his elder brother after his selection for Australia, Krunal said: "He just told me to go out and play bindaas (carefree series) cricket. I'll pick his brains about how to play in Australia since he's been there twice. It's a dream that in future we will play together for India as we do for MI. From childhood, we've played all our cricket together."
Lastly, Krunal remembered his time in England this year when he was part of touring India A side and subsequently the T20I squad against England revealing that he was awestruck by the legendary MS Dhoni.
"I was there for a very short time. I was with the India 'A' team there, before I was called up into the squad. I observed Mahi bhai closely during those six days. I told myself: 'I want to be like him.' The way he carries himself, his simplicity, grace, he's achieved so much, but is so down to earth," he concluded.