IPL 2018: How Krunal Pandya is better than Hardik Pandya, Sunil Gavaskar explains

Krunal Pandya, Mumbai Indians all-rounder, has performed better than his younger brother Hardik Pandya in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018. Sunil Gavaskar feels that Krunal’s game is better than Hardik’s

cricket Updated: Apr 18, 2018 14:03 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IPl 2018,Indian Premier League 2018,Hardik Pandya
Mumbai Indians have relied heavily on Krunal Pandya and Hardik Pandya to shine in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018.(AP)

Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya have been instrumental in helping Mumbai Indians become the most successful team in the history of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 over the years.

In 2017, the Pandya brothers notched up a string of consistent performances with both bat and ball as Mumbai Indians walked away with their third IPL title.

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This year, though, things have gone downhill for the defending champions as out of their first four matches, they have won only one game. In fact, the Mumbai based side won their first game only on Tuesday when they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 46 runs to end their three-match losing streak.

One of the reasons affecting Mumbai’s performance this season is Hardik Pandya’s below par performance. Prior to Tuesday’s match against RCB where he 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, has continued to perform admirably as he has 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.

The contrast in the Pandya brothers’ performances has come under the notice of former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar who has dubbed Krunal’s game superior to that of his younger brother.

“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,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for Times of India.

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Hardik’s bowling, in particular, has been sloppy and Gavaskar believes it’s high time Mumbai changed their tactics of bringing him to bowl inside the powerplay overs.

“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.

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To his credit, Hardik, though, improved his performance with both bat and ball against RCB where he hit some quick runs towards the end and then came back to bowl an economical over costing only four runs.

Krunal, on the other hand, was the pick of Mumbai bowlers returning figures of 3/28 from his 4 overs to showcase his value once again.

Mumbai Indians next play Rajasthan Royals in Jaipur on Sunday.

First Published: Apr 18, 2018 13:54 IST