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Krunal: 'I am in a good headspace, I have much more clarity'

The allrounder starred with both bat and ball to help Lucknow Super Giants move to the top of the table

Krunal Pandya picked up two in two in the eighth over, Lucknow Super Giants vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, IPL 2023, Lucknow, April 7, 2023

Krunal Pandya picked up two in two in the eighth over  •  BCCI

Krunal Pandya says he has put a lot of work into his bowling action in the last four to five months, trying to get taller at the crease and bowl with a higher arm.
The Lucknow Super Giants allrounder, who primarily plays the white-ball formats for Baroda, last played competitive cricket in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in November 2022. And the work he put into his bowling during the break bore fruit on Friday, on a slowish Lucknow surface where he put in an excellent shift of 3 for 18 off his four overs, stifling the Sunrisers Hyderabad batters and restricting them to 121 for 8.
"In the last four-five months, I took a break from cricket, where I was not playing. I just wanted to work on my skills, especially bowling," Krunal said at the post-match presentation. "I was just playing the white-ball format and what happened in the last two-three years, I just went wider and wider [with my release]. So I just wanted to work on my action, wanted to get tall so that I can get that turn and get that arm ball going as well."
Krunal was introduced into the attack in the third over, and he immediately struck, drawing Mayank Agarwal into an uppish drive. His next two wickets may have given even more satisfaction. He first sent back Anmolpreet Singh with a trademark quicker one that skidded through and pinned the batter in front of the stumps.
The very next ball, he lured Aiden Markram forward with one that was a touch slow in the air. The Sunrisers captain prodded half-forward but failed to reach the pitch of the ball that spun just a touch to beat his outstretched defences and cannon into the off stump.
"Very good day at the office," Krunal said. "Having more right-handers [to bowl at], I knew I will be bowling four overs today and I was prepared for it. Overall, this year I am in a good headspace, I have much more clarity about how I want to go about my game, whether it's bat and ball.
"Everything, I guess, once you have clarity up there, things automatically fall in place. I am someone who is very process-driven, doesn't think that much about result, and it is coming out really well."
Krunal wasn't done after his three-wicket haul. Coming out to bat at No.4, the left-hander scored a crucial 23-ball 34, adding 55 with his captain KL Rahul to help Lucknow Super Giants get closer to their target.
It was the third time in three matches this season that Super Giants had slotted Krunal at No. 4. He was pleased to be batting in that position. In 72 innings with his previous franchise, Mumbai Indians, he had batted 27 times in the top five.
"I am trying to recollect how I played my first four-five years of IPL where I was batting at No.4 consistently for Mumbai [Indians]," Krunal said. "In the last three years, for MI when I batted, my role was completely changed, I was batting at No.7.
"So again, I am trying to find my rhythm and trying to find that consistency in how I would play at that number. Having clarity just helps you to go out there and execute your skills."