The Pandya brothers have been a revelation for the Mumbai Indians since IPL 2015 when Hardik Pandya made his debut in the league. Next year, Krunal Pandya joined the MI team and in IPL 2017, both the brothers played a crucial role in MI winning a record third IPL title.
Krunal played a sensational knock in the finals and then bowled with élan to earn a Man of the finals award in the IPL 2017 final against Rising Pune Supergiant. This year, however, MI has won just one match out of their four matches, losing the first three matches on a trot.
The performances of Pandya brothers have been highly contrasting in IPL 2018. Prior to Tuesday’s match against RCB where Hardik hit a superb 5-ball 17, he had scored only 24 runs at a strike rate of 104.34 besides leaking runs at an economy rate of 9.33. Krunal, on the other hand, scored so far 82 runs at a healthy strike rate of 151.85 apart from scalping five wickets at an outstanding economy rate of 6.55.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar explained why Krunal Pandya has a better game than Hardik Pandya in his column in Times of India.
He wrote, “Krunal has been impressive with his canny left-arm spinners and down the order, he keeps his cool and gets runs at a good clip without hitting the big sixes that his younger brother hits.”
“Teams now know not to bring a spinner on when Hardik Pandya is batting, for he can smash them out of the ground. However, he does not find the seamers that easy to belt and so he will be confronted by most captains. Mumbai also must look at their tactic of bringing him on when the field restrictions are in place, for he can be expensive than his brother,” Gavaskar further wrote in his column.
Krunal was the pick of Mumbai bowlers against RCB on Tuesday, returning figures of 3/28 from his 4 overs to showcase his value once again. Hardik scored some quick runs in the end overs against RCB.
Mumbai Indians next play Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Sunday.