India batsman Krunal Pandya and England bowler Tom Curran exchanged words and Pandya had to be restrained by the umpire during an intense first innings finale in the first ODI between the two sides in Pune. Pandya, brother of India all-rounder Hardik, reacted to bowler Curran in between deliveries and also shared words with England wicket-keeper and stand-in captain Jos Buttler, who was overseeing proceedings after Eoin Morgan was forced off with an injury.
Krunal blitzed a quick-fire 58 not out at the end of India’s innings to ensure that, along with KR Rahul’s 62, the hosts set England a challenging total of 318 to chase.
The 26-ball half century from Krunal was his ODI debut, but he hit the ground running and smashed seven fours and two sixes as England’s bowling attack were dispatched around the ground. He later, emotionally, dedicated his knock to his late father who passed away earlier this year.
Before the end of the 49th over, Curran uttered something to Krunal, which sparked the flare up and the umpire was forced to step in. Buttler also stepped in and shared words, before umpire Nitin Menon eventually calmed the situation down.
India captain Virat Kohli, who himself had earlier in the innings fired 56, watched on from the dug-out before he was also seen to be making a point to an official on the boundary.
Sky Sports commentator and former umpire David Lloyd wasn’t impressed, and said: “Just give them a yellow card! It’s so simple. It can damage a game, if they think that that is right and this is what happens.
“I agree that you’ll have flashpoints, but the umpire has got be completely bang on if it’s wrong. Nobody takes any notice of the umpire, I can tell you that!”
Krunal, who was decorated with his first cap by his brother in the pre-match ceremony, was overcome with emotion following his fifty, which he marked by pointing to the skies as he paid a touching tribute to his father.
Former India star Dinesh Karthik recalled to Sky Sports: “I got a call from Hardik one evening and he was sobbing. We obviously got the news that their father had passed away.
“From there on they’ve been an emotional wreck for the last few weeks. It’s been really hard for them to pick themselves up, but the way Krunal has gone back to domestic cricket…he has bulldozed his way back into the India team and rightfully so.
“You can see the emotions pouring out.”