Making his ODI debut with his brother Hardik also in the side, Krunal came in at 205-5 and raced to a 26-ball fifty, stitching together a 112-run partnership with KL Rahul to give India a commanding total of 317 in 50 overs.
India won the first game of the three-match series by 66 runs after fellow debutant and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna finished with figures of 4-54 as England collapsed after a blistering start.
“Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence with me,” Krunal wrote on Twitter.
Papa, with every ball you were always on my mind and in my heart. Tears rolled down my face as I felt your presence… https://t.co/8oJvx0ZGXu
— Krunal Pandya (@krunalpandya24) 1616519925000
“Thank you for being my strength, for being the biggest support I’ve had. I hope I made you proud. This is for you Papa, everything we do is for you Papa.”
In Pics: Debutants Prasidh and Krunal shine as India beat England by 66 runs in first ODI
<p>Debutant Prasidh Krishna and fellow seamer Shardul Thakur combined to derail England’s chase and bowl India to a 66-run victory in the one-day series opener in Pune on Tuesday. (Reuters Photo)</p>
Krunal, who raised his bat to the heavens when he reached his fifty, finished the innings with an unbeaten 58 which included seven boundaries and two sixes.
1st ODI: India beat England by 66 runs, go 1-0 up
The 29-year-old all-rounder broke down when he was interviewed during the innings break but his younger brother Hardik, who handed him his first cap before the game, was on hand to console him.
“Papa would be proud. He’s smiling down on you brother and sent an early birthday gift for you,” Hardik said.
“You deserve the world and more. I couldn’t be happier for you brother.”