Manish Pandey has always been the unlucky guy who has not made it to the international level despite being immensely talented. Ever since he scored that magnificent 114 off 73 at Centurion in 2009, he has been knocking selectors” doors. And his domestic numbers don”t show he doesn”t deserve a place in Indian team either. Born on 10 September 1989, he has been the stalwart of Karnataka team since he started playing cricket for them in 2006-07. A veteran of 70 First class matches, he has amassed close to 5000 runs at an average of 50 with 16 centuries. But still the winner of Madhavrao Scindia award in 2009, has been always under the shadow of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and has not got the opportunities he should have at international level.
In the limited opportunities he has got for India, his performances have been nothing short of astonishing. In the 7 ODIS he has played for India, he averages 92 with a strike rate of more than 100. Above all, he is an excellent fielder!! Captain will be tempted to pick Manish Pandey in Playing XI only on his fielding!
In IPL, he is backbone of KKR”s middle order. His innings of 94 In the final at Bangalore helped KKR lift their second title. Also, not to forget his hundred at Sydney! This shows he has got a great temperament and has ability to soak pressure! In the recently concluded quadrangular series in Australia, Manish led India to the title scoring 359 runs in 7 matches at an average of 51.
India play 8 ODIS in 2016-17 home season. It gives Manish an excellent opportunity to cement his place in India”s squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in England. One thing for sure if he gets a long rope, he has got all the potential to make it big even in Test cricket!!
– by Atharva Apte