We play our best cricket under pressure: Krunal

Scoring runs, picking up wickets and taking catches and effecting run-outs — Mumbai Indians all-rounder Krunal Pandya can do it all.

Well, he also has a superb sense of humour.

How else do you explain his answer to a question on Jos Buttler and his red-hot form? The Englishman has scored a half-century in each of his last four outings. Yeah, his streak reads 95*, 82, 51, 67. In other words, dismissing the Rajasthan Royals’ opener will be MI’s No. 1 priority at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

Pandya’s riposte? “Obviously, if you look at the positives, he’s been consistent in the last three to four games. So he’s due for one bad game (laughs). That’s how I see it as an opponent. He’s a crucial player for them and he’s batting really well. But we will plan for each batsman and bowler in the opposition.”

With 189 runs and 11 wickets this season, Pandya is one of skipper Rohit Sharma’s go-to players. From sharing the new ball to batting in any and every situation, Pandya is as versatile as they come.

Well aware of the fact that MI have to win each of their last three games, Pandya said, “We’re not thinking about it (qualifying for the playoffs). That’s because we look at it one match at a time. That’s how we have been playing. In the first few games, the result didn’t go in our favour. It’s not that we were playing bad cricket. We were playing good cricket, but the crucial moments didn’t go our way. In the latter half of the league stage, we grabbed those opportunities and started winning games. We are not thinking where we are on the points table right now. We are just taking it one game at a time. We will see how it goes.”

Acknowledging that MI play their best cricket under pressure, Pandya said, “Yes, you can say that MI is known for that. When you’re pushed to the wall, then you come out with your best. When you start playing a tournament, you don’t think you have to lose games in the beginning and then start winning in the latter half. You go out thinking you want to win. That said, we have played our best cricket when we are down and out. Hope we continue that because our next three games are do-or-die encounters. As I said, we’ll take it game by game and see how it goes.”

Accepting congratulations on his India ‘A’ selection, he said, “It feels really good. I was picked for India ‘A’ last year too. I toured South Africa. It was a good experience for me. Eventually the ultimate dream and childhood dream is to represent India. That desire is still there. I’m just happy that I’m one step closer to the Indian senior team. It feels good. I’ll try to give my best when I’ll go there. Right now, this is an important stage of tournament and I want to do well for Mumbai Indians.”

 

 


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