Hardik and Krunal play together for Mumbai Indians in the IPL | AFP

Hardik and Krunal play together for Mumbai Indians in the IPL | AFPOlder to Hardik by 18 months and his constant companion in every walk of life, Krunal Pandya has some healthy advice for his brother.

Fond of each other, both Krunal and Hardik know each other inside out and this is where the age and experience of one, is certainly a great help to the young flamboyance of the other.

This where, the elder Krunal spoke about Hardik and his affinity for him, recently and said, “Hardik has been like this since childhood. There is nothing new that has happened to him after playing for India or for Mumbai Indians. I still remember my mother used to shout at him,” revealing, “He coloured his hair at the age of 10. So what Hardik is now is exactly what he was a child. Nothing has changed,”

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“It’s important to be yourself. Whatever he does, wears or colours his hair, that is all after once he is finished with cricket. That’s his personal life, his personal space. What I know is no one will come between him and cricket, whether it’s his fashion or his family,” he added.

“I have never told Hardik to change himself. If you want to do well, you have to be yourself. Then only can you give a 100%. That’s what he is doing. As long as it is not affecting his cricket and not harming anyone, then I think we should leave him at it,” he stressed and on the career comparisons, said, “He is a fast bowling all-rounder. I’m a spin bowling all-rounder. These are two completely separate departments.”

Krunal gave an insight into their relationship with a recent example, where he was finally rewarded for persistence at the domestic level and got picked for the T20Is against West Indies and Australia as well as for India A on their tour of New Zealand, and shared that excitement with Hardik, who was present with him at the time.

“Hardik(recovering him from his untimely injury during the Asia Cup) was going to bed because he had to get up early. I got the (selection) news late, around 10:30 pm, and he said ‘Now I’m not feeling sleepy because I’m so excited you are part of the Indian team again. So, that’s the bond we have. We have never seen each other as competitor,” he said.

The ever ready to defend his brother, Krunal, further said, “Honestly, we have played our cricket together since childhood, whether it’s age-group or club cricket or even in the IPL. We were also in the T20I squad in England. We are very protective about each other,” and signed off with, “There is no competition. Just the love we have for each other is immense.”

(Inputs from HT)

By Kashish Chadha