‘Retired out?’ – Krunal Pandya retires hurt with cramps in possible tactical swap with Nicholas Pooran
Lucknow Super Giants skipper Krunal Pandya walked off the field after suffering from cramps during their innings against Mumbai Indians, with some suggesting it was a smart tactical move to get in Nicholas Pooran for the final overs of their IPL 2023 fixture.
At the end of the 16th over of LSG’s innings, Krunal – on 49 off 42 – required medical treatment after hobbling while exchanging ends with Marcus Stoinis. At that point, LSG were 117-3, with Marcus Stoinis on 41 off 31.
Krunal decided to walk off before the start of the next over, retiring hurt, even though he did manage to walk up the stairs without assistance to the team dugout. On commentary, Sanjay Manjrekar said: “Has he said retiring hurt or retiring out? To get somebody like a Pooran in…we wonder. I think it’s a good chance he’ll come out to the field and bowl as well, but obviously, there’s the injury angle as well. So retired hurt is what we have been told officially. But I guess, it’s also in a way tactical what they have done”.
R Ashwin, on Twitter, also suggested that Krunal might have made a strategic call to go back and bring in Pooran for the final four overs. It’s interesting to note Pooran has a strike rate of 180.32 at the death in IPL 2023.
“Retired out?” tweeted Ashwin, as Krunal walked off. He later replied to another user’s tweet with: “The rules permit you to do it! There is no cheating”. It’s worth recalling that R Ashwin became the first batter in IPL history to tactically retire out, during a match against Lucknow Super Giants last year.
Retired out? #LSGvsMI #KrunalPandya
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) May 16, 2023
Tactical or not, the switch worked out fine for LSG. The home team hit 60 off the last four balls, even though Pooran had little to contribute, ambling to 8 off 8. It was Stoinis who changed gears spectacularly, smashing 89* off 47, his career-best score in IPL.
The break seemed to work well for Krunal, who was back to lead LSG in Mumbai’s innings, having been named the skipper of the side in KL Rahul’s absence, and even opened the bowling. For a brief while, though, he did step out of the field with the cramps resurfacing, but minutes later, was back again, taking the captaincy armband back from Pooran. He proceeded to bowl another over thereafter, as LSG struggled to break MI’s opening partnership, with the first wicket only coming in the 10th over. Krunal eventually completed his quota of four overs.
After the narrow five-run win, Krunal gave an update on his fitness: ” I was having cramps, I pulled a muscle. I have always been a team player, anything for the team [so I took the field].”
You can watch Krunal’s innings (and the retired hurt here):
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