The Krunal Pandya-led Baroda side have started their Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 campaign on a bright note by winning their first two games of the competition. They beat Uttarakhand in their opening game by five runs and followed it up with defeating Himachal Pradesh comprehensively by four wickets to kick off the tournament in grand fashion. However, the team has been subject to a massive controversy off late.
After their win over Himachal Pradesh on Tuesday, Krunal took to Instagram and posted a winning selfie alongside his team. However, instead of the photo, it was the caption that became the talking point of the post. Lauding his side's stellar performance, Krunal, in the caption, mentioned that they play as a team and win as a team, thus possibly taking an indirect dig at Deepak Hooda who with whom he had a major fallout recently.
Deepak Hooda, who represented the Punjab IPL team in the 13th edition of the cash-rich league, was slated to be a vital cog for the Baroda team. However, the player quit his team ahead of the much-anticipated Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2021 after alleging that he was 'bullied' by captain Krunal Pandya.
Hooda, who has played 46 first-class matches, was miffed at the behaviour of Pandya, who has represented India and sent an e-mail to the cricket body. "At this moment, I am demoralised, depressed and under pressure. As from last some days, my team captain Mr. Krunal Pandya is using abusing language to me in front of my teammates and also other state teams who have come for participation at Reliance Stadium Vadodara," Hooda wrote in the letter to BCA.
"Today I was practising in nets and doing my preparation for tomorrow's game with the permission of head coach Mr Prabhakar. Then Krunal came in nets (and) started misbehaving with me," alleged Hooda.
Meanwhile, Baroda had performed brilliantly during the group stage of the last edition of the tournament, however, they failed to make it to the semi-finals of the competition which is why the management made several changes ahead of the ongoing edition in an attempt to turn their fortunes around, the first being the appointment of Krunal as the captain of the side. The move seems to have worked wonders for the side so far as they have won their first two games.
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