Krunal: 'It's my dream to play World Cup with Hardik'

“The aim is not just to represent India for a couple of matches here and there but to play for as long as possible. It would be a dream come true if I and Hardik can together play for India in the 2019 World Cup," said Krunal Pandya after his selection in the India A squad.

Krunal Pandya played a big role in Mumbai Indians' Indian Premier League triumph.   -  AP

Krunal Pandya inched closer towards his dream — playing the 2019 World Cup alongside younger brother Hardik — with a maiden India A call-up.

“The aim is not just to represent India for a couple of matches here and there but to play for as long as possible. It would be a dream come true if I and Hardik can together play for India in the 2019 World Cup. But right now, focus will be on doing well for India A,” Krunal told PTI after his selection in the A squad for a limited-overs series in South Africa.

Hardik, Krunal said, had called him from Antigua after hearing the news of his ‘A’ team selection.

“Hardik was ecstatic. He called me and said that You are getting there. Having already played for India, he has an insight about top flight cricket and I always discuss with him to pick finer points. There can’t be a closer buddy than your own brother,” says Krunal.

Krunal played a big role in Mumbai Indians' Indian Premier League (IPL) triumph.

“I knew opposition teams would study my game during this edition of the IPL after a reasonably good first season. I had to work on my weaknesses as the second season becomes the very key in an international level tournament like IPL. I worked on both aspects of my game and it paid off,” said Krunal, who scored 243 runs and took 10 wickets in 13 IPL games.

His performance in the Vijay Hazare Trophy helped him make a case for himself in the 50-over format.

“It was a tough first few months as I had undergone surgery for quadriceps muscle injury. I was out of action for four to five months. The Vijay Hazare Trophy was like my comeback tournament for Baroda.

“We played the semifinals and I had the highest runs (366) and highest wickets (11) for our team. I had a couple of 30s in the Deodhar Trophy. All these performances helped my confidence,” said the 26-year-old, who has played 14 List A and 40 T20 matches.

About his game, Krunal said, “My thinking is simple. When you are batting, think like a bowler to stay one step ahead and vice versa while bowling. Reading the mind of an opposition player is very important."

His skill set is pretty similar to Ravindra Jadeja, who is an established India player, and Axar Patel, who will be with him on the flight to South Africa but the Baroda lad wants to focus on his own game.

“I would only like to focus on things, which are in my control. I can’t perform thinking about who are my competitors. My job is to maximise my potential and perform to the best of my abilities. I will strive doing that,” he said.

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