India’s New Finisher In T20Is – Manish Pandey
By CricShots - Mar 13, 2018 11:01 am
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Indian batsman Manish Pandey was surely the star of the show when it came to the Indian batting in the T20I against Sri Lanka on Monday as he first held anchor and then finished with a flurry to score an unbeaten 42 off 31 balls. And the batsman said that his aim was to bat till the end and take the team over the line. Indian team now is the table topper with 4 points from 3 matches with two wins under their belt.

Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik sealed the game for India

Talking about the game, Pandey said, “I thought we had a good partnership in the end. They started well, it was important for me to stay until the end. We discuss that (plans against Sri Lankan bowlers). Batting at number 5, I should be there until the end. They (bowlers) have come back really well after the first game. We had a couple of plans and we executed them well. We have not got too much batting after 6 and 7, so it was good for DK to stay with me and absorb the pressure.”

Also read: Pandey’s fifty rebuild India’s innings

The Men in Blue have been playing with Pandey at No. 5 in T20Is ever since Suresh Raina was promoted up the order at No. 3 and the Karnataka batsman has done complete justifications to his position. Pandey though was kept out of the ODI squad in the six-match series in South Africa last month with Shreyas Iyer and Hardik Pandya being tried out at No. 5 but both batsmen failed to score runs consistently in the series.

But in the T20I series, Pandey came with all guns blazing as he registered the scores of 29*, 79* and 13 in the three matches. He finished as the third-highest scorer in the series behind Shikhar Dhawan (143) and JP Duminy (122) with 121 runs at an average of 121.00.

Pandey is already the second highest scorer for India in the ongoing Nidahas Trophy behind Dhawan with 106 runs in 3 matches and is the only batsmen to average over 100 so far. Looking at his consistency it is actually surprising to see the Indian team management not trusting Pandey in the ODIs.

Manish Pandey

Since his debut three years ago, Pandey has played just 22 ODIs and scored 432 runs at an average of 39.27 with one century and two fifties. His unbeaten 104 in the 5th ODI against Australia in Sydney in 2016 remains his best knock till date during which he clearly showed that he has the potential and the game to get a place in the ODI team.

Also read: Manish Pandey Explains MS Dhoni’s Assault

But due to the constant changes in the playing XI, Manish hasn’t been given a longer rope in ODIs and has also not had a settled position where he can come and express himself.

Pandey has batted at No. 4, 5 and 6 till now with his averages being 36.60, 37.33 and 45.66 in the respective positions. Looking at men in blue’s unsolved issue of its middle-order in the ODIs against South Africa, they should well and truly consider the dependable Pandey as a permanent option at No. 5 who can provide the necessary firepower down the order along with MS Dhoni.