Manish Pandey has played 58 First Class games © Getty Images (File Photo)
Manish Pandey has played 58 First Class games © Getty Images (File Photo)

By Abhijit Banare

Oct 30, 2014

Manish Pandey was picked for the only T20 international to be played against West Indies at Cuttack. But the withdrawal of the West Indies from the tour had robbed him of a potential opportunity to make an impression at the top. The Karnataka batsman missed the Duleep trophy final and slammed an unbeaten 135 off 11 deliveries for India A against Sri Lanka on Thursday. Team India assistant coach and in-charge of this India A team added that this innings will give Pandey a lot of confidence.

“We just got together only for the two days that we had here. But he has been batting pretty well, consistently. (For his state side) His state side won a lot of championships. They won the Irani, the Duleep Trophy, the Ranji trophy, most of the championships that they played in. He played a vital part in that. He had a fantastic IPL also. He won the IPL final for KKR. He has been in tremendous touch,” Bangar said in the post-match press conference after India A’s convincing 88-run win over Sri Lanka.

Bangar added that given the nature of the Brabourne pitch which assists the bowlers early on, Pandey will draw lot of satisfaction of playing this innings. “He is always on the fringes. This innings of his can give him a lot of confidence because he came after we were put in to bat and you always expect the CCI wicket to do a bit in the first hour and a half. So, from that perspective, it must have been very satisfying for Manish Pandey.”

Pandey has been one of the prolific run-scorers for Karnataka. Even during the Indian Premier League he was a key player for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) scoring 401 runs in 16 matches at an average of 30.84. Despite impressive numbers, consistency remains the key for Pandey. He was a part of the victorious U-19 World Cup team under Virat Kohli. While his skipper from that team has become the backbone of Indian batting, Pandey is yet to find his place in the national side. With the limited overs domestic season – Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy – ahead, Pandey has his task cut out to make it to the national side.

Complete coverage of Sri Lanka tour of India 2014