IPL 2023: Don’t want to imitate anyone, says Krunal Pandya on his captaincy

In reference to his captaincy, Krunal stated that he no desire to mimic anyone, but was open to learning good things from others.

Krunal Pandya, LSG, IPL 2023
Krunal Pandya. Photo: BCCI/IPL

Relishing the role of leading Lucknow Super Giants in the crucial business end of this IPL, Krunal Pandya on Thursday said as captain he looks to learn good things from everyone but without “imitating anyone”.

Elder brother of Indian T20 team skipper Hardik Pandya, Krunal took over LSG captaincy after KL Rahul pulled out because of an injury with five matches remaining in the league phase.

“KL is a big loss for us, it’s really sad. But I’ve taken this challenge and looking forward to it and make it bigger,” Krunal said during a media interaction here.

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“Obviously, I’ve been aware that I’m the vice-captain for the team, and again I’ve never changed. I always played cricket how I wanted to play cricket. I’ve taken the captaincy the same way as well.

“I don’t want to imitate anyone. Yes, I want to learn good things from everyone but at the same time, I want to be myself,” he said about his captaincy.

He will be leading the team in a must-win game against Kolkata Knight Riders here on Saturday.

“If I be myself, and if I do it my way then the chances of doing well for the team is high. I’ve played cricket hard and in a certain way, and the same thing I apply while captaining this team as well.”

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A former Baroda skipper, Krunal captained LSG in their home match against Chennai Super Kings, which was washed out on May 3. With this, Krunal and Hardik became the first siblings to captain two IPL franchises.

Since then, Krunal oversaw LSG’s two wins and a loss that came against defending champions Gujarat Titans, who are being led by his brother Hardik.

Krunal’s captaincy style and reading of the game has drawn praise from none other than the legendary Sunil Gavaskar.

Gavaskar was particularly impressed with the way the LSG skipper defended 177 against Mumbai Indians en route to sealing a thrilling five-run win.

Krunal said he and Hardik have always seen the game from leaders’ perspective, which has helped them while captaining their respective teams.

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“We discuss cricket a lot, we discuss everything. We have played cricket in a certain way, whether we were leaders or not we have always taken responsibilities, and we have seen this game as a leader.

“So, when you become captain, its slightly easier because you have always seen the game how you can contribute and how you can win games,” Krunal said.

Asked whether former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni has played any role in his captaincy, Krunal said: “MS has been the biggest captain in Indian history.

“By just observing you learn a lot of things, I’ve learnt a lot of things, from MS as well. I want to take good things from everyone but I want to be myself, that’s the way I can get the best out of myself,” Krunal added.

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Placed third in the table with 15 points, LSG have better chances of making the playoffs than their Saturdays opponents Kolkata Knight Riders, who are way below with 12 points.

“There is still no Q (qualifying tag) attached to us, so focus is to play the way Lucknow is known for. I hope we play to our potential and win the game,” Krunal signed off.

(With agency inputs)