VEDANT SHARMA | 1 SEPTEMBER, 2018
With all the ups and downs in his cricketing journey, Pandey has played some memorable knocks
Manish Pandey, a name which will stay in the history as the first Indian cricketer to score a spectacular hundred in the world's most lucrative league - Indian Premier League (IPL). An unbeaten hundred which propel Royal Challengers Bangalore's way into the knockout stages in the second edition of the IPL was probably the innings which shaped his career as well. The unbeaten 114 runs helped the then-teenager to shot the limelight and announce his credibility at the world platform. Since then, Pandey has never looked back.
The flamboyant stroke maker continued his dazzling stint in the domestic circuit amassing 882 runs in 2009-10 Ranji season. His superlative dream run played a vital cog for Karnataka. However, his barnstorming start did not immediately help him with desired returns. The 28-year-old fearless cricketer had to prove his stature for six long years before he was handed a debut against not so promising side, Zimbabwe. Having scored 71 runs in his debut innings, the free-flowing swift batsman made his place in the eyes of the selection committee.
The Breakout Innings
Nevertheless, the unsung hero of Indian Cricket Manish Pandey's breakout came six-months after his International debut when he single-handedly won the game for his country in Sydney against a promising side like Australia. The innings not only defined his technique but also led the populous witness his temperament at the world stage. Post that, Manish Pandey had a lean patch which led to questioning his selection in the limited overs arena.
Even then, the fast established cricketer managed to find a place for his first ever ICC Champions Trophy tournament. However, destiny didn't let the youngster board the flight due to an injury caused during India's premier T20 league - IPL. Pandey worked regressively with the full fortitude with physio and proved his fitness which followed India A call-up as the selectors persisted with him. His scintillating knocks against South Africa A helped him to be back in the contention at the supreme level.
With all the ups and downs in his cricketing journey so far, Pandey has played some memorable knocks and has also been a part of some forgettable series. In recent times, the selectors have seen him as a specialist T20 batsman who is lightning fast in the outfield. This tells, he hasn't featured in the 50-over format since 17 December 2017. However, with the next ODI assignment, Asia Cup, which is scheduled to be held in September, Manish Pandey couldn't have timed his return of form better.
Return to form Herald Well
In the Quadrangular series, India B skipper Manish Pandey scored 306 runs in four innings. More importantly, he didn't get dismissed in the whole series which speaks volumes about his credibility and patience. Moreover, in his last 11 List-A innings, he has scored 784 runs at an astonishing average of 261.33 which is laced with six half-centuries and two centuries.
With this, one will have to say that though he came into the tournament on the back of quiet IPL season and sitting on the sidelines in the limited overs series against England, he has been able to rose through the ranks and be amongst the runs. His prodigious form at this hour can well help him earn his lost place which was acquired by the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik, and Suresh Raina for a time being. With the trio battling poor form, it won't be a surprise if he makes to the 15-member squad ahead of everyone else.
However, only time will tell if the skipper Virat Kohli along with the selection committee bank on this talent. Interestingly, the current scenario tells us that Indian Cricket will invest in him and rest other cases.