IPL 2019: A brotherly gathering

At the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, two pairs of brothers featured in the contest between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

Krunal Pandya (left) is three years elder to brother Hardik.   -  AP

Way back in 1997, the Zimbabwe cricket team staged a surprise when it fielded three pairs of brothers in a Test match against New Zealand. In that historic outing in Harare, Grant and Andy Flower, Paul and Bryan Strang and Gavin and John Rennie donned the whites for Zimbabwe and helped the side earn a draw. That was the first and only time three pairs of brothers featured in an international cricket fixture.

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At the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday, the Indian Premier League (IPL) clash between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings witnessed quite a similar instance — two pairs of brothers featuring in the same match. While Hardik and Krunal Pandya represented the host Mumbai, the Chahar cousins, Deepak and Rahul, were up against each other for the first time.

As Rahul, a young leg-spinner, was handed the Mumbai Indians cap for the first time, his elder cousin Deepak has already cemented his place in Chennai Super Kings as its key pacer.

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Having grown up together in Agra, Deepak and Rahul earlier played together for Rajasthan in domestic tournaments, and it must be a rather new experience for them to feature in the same match for different teams.

In last year’s auction, Mumbai Indians roped in Rahul for a whopping ₹1.9 crore, while Super Kings went for Deepak for ₹80 lakh. Though Deepak played a key role in Super Kings’ title win, Rahul had to warm the bench.

But even before the season started, Deepak had made it clear that even though they would play for different teams, it won’t be a house divided when it comes to supporting a side.

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