Kieron Pollard hasn’t been bowling much of late. Hardik Pandya is yet to bowl during the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League due to his back injury management. Pandya Sr., Krunal, was thus expected to carry the mantle of being the lead all-rounder for Mumbai Indians.
With an on-song batting line-up, Krunal has been largely playing as a containing spinner. And he has played his role to near-perfection as Mumbai Indians has begun defending its crown with aplomb.
Numbers neither reflect his contribution to MI’s winning run nor to his chances of regaining his place in India’s T20 squad.
But Krunal isn’t really worried about it.
“I also want to come back into the Indian team. If you see the games I have played for India, I have done well in terms of the bowling I did. I got Man of the Match awards. Overall I was happy with the journey with the Indian team. I am looking forward to making a comeback,” Krunal said on Saturday, ahead of Mumbai Indians’ weekend clash versus Kings XI Punjab.
In his 26 overs of left-arm spin in eight matches, Krunal has picked up five wickets at a respectable economy rate of 7.80. As for batting, he has been able to face just 34 balls, scoring 48 runs, with the four-ball 20 not out against Sunrisers being the highlight.
“At the end of the day, I have never thought about it as an individual. I have always believed in keeping the team first, be it for India, Mumbai Indians or Baroda.
“Sometimes, if the required run-rate is 15 and you bowl a 6-run over, that is as good as a four-wicket haul. That 4-ball 20 against SRH created an impact and brought the momentum back for us. I never think about those big runs or picking wickets. It is about what is important for the team.”