India A captain Manish Pandey celebrates his 30th birthday on Tuesday. Born on September 10, 1989, the right-handed batsman has been one of the most consistent batsmen in the Indian Domestic circuit and has been on the sidelines of the national team for quite some time now. However, Pandey failed to replicate his consistency in the international platform and thus the batsman never cemented his place in the Indian team. Nevertheless, Pandey has shown some glimpses of talent he possesses and is also a contender for the number 4 spot in the ODI side. India A vs South Africa A: Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube Lead IND ‘A’ to 4-Wicket Win Over Proteas.
In the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League, the Karnataka-born batsman became the first Indian to score a century in the gala-tournament and grabbed a lot of limelight. Many cricket pundits and experts even considered him to be the next big thing in Indian cricket. However, the rise of players like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma meant Pandey had to wait for his chances. In June 2015, the right-handed batsman finally got a chance to don the Indian jersey and the player immediately justified his selection by scoring a gritty 71 on debut. The 30-year-old has featured his 23 ODIs and 31 T20Is to date and has aggregated 440 and 565 runs respectively. Talking about his achievements, let’s focus on five best knocks played by Manish Pandey in his cricketing career.
104* Against Australia, Sydney
In the 5th ODI of India’s 2016 tour of Australia, Manish Pandey played an absolute blinder under pressure and snatched a victory for India from the jaws of defeat. Chasing a total of 332, Pandey came to bat at number four and built his innings steadily. After getting set in the wicket, Pandey took the attack to the opposition and demolished the Australian bowlers. Pandey scored his first ODI century and guided India to a memorable victory by six wickets.
79* Against South Africa, Centurion
The right-handed batsman played a stellar innings in the 2nd T20I of India’s 2018 tour of South Africa. Batting first, India got an early setback as Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli got dismissed in the first few overs. However, Pandey took the responsibility of the anchor and brought the Indian innings back on track. Pandey brought up his fifty and guided the men in blue to 188/4. Unfortunately, the batsman’s effort went in vain as the Proteas chased the total and won the match by six wickets.
71* Against Mumbai Indians, Mumbai
The batsman proved his mettle by playing a gem of an innings against Mumbai in the IPL 2019. The top-order of Sunrisers Hyderabad surrendered in front of Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga. However, Pandey refused to put his guards down and played a sensational innings. The batsman notched up his fifty but kept losing wickets at another end. The equation came down to 7 runs from 1 ball where he smacked a six and snatched a tie. Unfortunately, Hyderabad lost the match in the super over.
94 Against Kings XI Punjab, Bengaluru
Wriddhiman Saha scored a splendid century in the first innings of IPL 2014 final and guided the Kings to a mammoth score of 199 in the first innings. The Kings XI Punjab side seemed all set to lift their maiden IPL title but they faced the wrath of Manish Pandey who played a magnificent knock and demolished the Punjab bowlers to all the parts of the ground. Pandey missed his century by six runs but Kolkata Knight Riders won the clash by three wickets and lifted their maiden IPL title.
114* Against Deccan Chargers, Centurion
Royal Challengers Bengaluru was the first of the many franchises Pandey played for in the IPL. Playing against Deccan Chargers in the 2009 edition of the tournament, the then 19-year-old played an extraordinary innings and became the first Indian to score an IPL century. Pandey’s masterclass guided the Bengaluru side to 170/6 in the first innings, which proved to be enough as the men in red won the match by 12 runs.
The batsman’s next assignment will be underway when South Africa tours India. The batsman is included in the T20I squad and will hope to get a chance in the playing XI. The series will be important for the middle-order batsman as a good performance here can seal his spot in India’s squad for the ICC World T20 2020.