IPL auction 2018: Krunal Pandya was one of the major attractions of IPL auction 2018. In 2016, when the Mumbai Indians were playing the Delhi Daredevils, the latter chose two leg-spinners to trouble Mumbai’s batting line-up full of right handers. To counter this move, Mumbai had promoted Krunal Pandya and as they say, rest is history. The senior Pandya was one of the brightest prospects that IPL 2016 gave us. The innings was a breakthrough moment for Krunal who exhibited his full range of strokes and displayed his batting talent. In IPL 2017, Krunal Pandya emerged as a more mature player, providing solidity to Mumbai Indians. He won matches for the side both with the bat as well ball and was also the Man of the Match in IPL 2017 final. So it comes as no surprise that Krunal Pandya was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 8.8 cr in IPL auction 2018.
A darting left-arm spinner Krunal has been a regular feature for Baroda in the domestic cricket. Krunal Pandya was picked up by Mumbai Indians for a whopping Rs 2 crore in IPL 2016 which came as a surprise for many but the all-rounder showcased some chiselled cricketing skills, impressing one and all with his all-round performance. In his debut IPL match, against Gujarat Lions at the Wankhede Stadium, Krunal Pandya ended up with the figures of 1/20 in 4 overs.
Coming in at 3, he can smash big sixes and slip in 4 cheap overs in the middle section of the bowling. He belongs to the class of batsman with rare amalgamation of versatility and is invaluably effective with both bat and ball. His marked performances have made him one of the most indispensable assets in the IPL auction this year as well.
He was one of the star players of IPL 2017. He took 10 wickets, had an economy of 6.82; scored 243 runs and had a strike rate 136.
Krunal can be put in the same league as Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who both bowl left-arm orthodox and are big hitters of the ball. If he is able to keep up with the great performances, Krunal Pandya might soon push for a place in the national team too.