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Why Manish Pandey Should Be A Mainstay In India’s World T20 Squad?

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When MS Dhoni took a sabbatical post the ICC World Cup 2019, there were several speculations regarding the veteran’s future and who will his replacement be as a finisher in the Indian cricket team.
With the ICC T20 World Cup the main focus this year, India’s build-up to the tournament is gaining pace with each passing day.
The team has been experimented with and after several compositions, the solution down the middle order comes in the form of Manish Pandey.
The right-handed batsman has plenty of experience under his belt and has been in the limited-overs squads since the conclusion of the World Cup.
Manish Pandey never quite got many chances and was sometimes called in as a substitute fielder. However, he grabbed the opportunity in the recently-concluded T20Is against New Zealand.
India decimated the Kiwis 5-0 and there were several aspects that came to the fore. However, one major gain for India was the presence of Pandey. He offers just so much on the side and is a player who is underrated.
Pandey’s ability to come in the latter stages and being someone on whom the team can rely upon is a prime facet. He offers a solution in this Indian team and can be the shield in the T20Is with the coming time.
A player that offers substance with both bat and on the field, Pandey is the perfect embodiment of experience and value in Team India ranks.
The current ploy by Team India, especially with the batting in limited-overs cricket, helps Pandey massively as well. If India follows the route they took against the Kiwis in the T20Is, then the side can get the ideal balance. This factor was mentioned by captain Virat Kohli, who is keen on getting the best team in place and winning matches.
Pandey serves as a testament to this experiment. He also deserves the plaudits for his contribution in the T20Is against the Kiwis. The Karnataka batsman brings value to his wicket and that offers solidity when the situation is vital. In this article, we look at why Pandey should be a mainstay in India’s World T20 squad.

How Manish Pandey came in the thick of things?

Pandey T20Is
A blow on the helmet for Rishabh Pant in the first ODI against Australia last month in Mumbai, saw the wicket-keeper batsman get concussed and left out of the starting XI from the next two matches.
In came KL Rahul as the keeper and his magnificent form meant that he was deemed undroppable.
Rahul took the challenge with both hands and excelled. He was backed instantly and all of a sudden the dynamics changed. Rahul’s presence as a keeper batsman allowed someone like a Pandey to come in.
It gives India the option to get an extra batsman in the ranks who are way better composed and mature than Pant.
Pandey played two ODIs against the Aussies and it was mainly his fielding that caught the eye. His blinder to dismiss David Warner was one of the best catches you will see in recent years.
The factor that Pandey is an excellent fielder both inside and outside the ring, made him an automatic choice for the T20Is against New Zealand.

What did Pandey offer in the series against New Zealand?

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Pandey T20Is
The 30-year-old player is vastly experienced in the format and his versatile nature makes him a standout option in the T20I side.
Pandey builds his innings well and has the attributes to read situations. So we got to see these aspects in the 5-0 T20I series win. Against New Zealand, the middle-order batsman 14*, 14* 50* and 11*.
In the last seven T20Is, Pandey hasn’t been dismissed. His scores read, 2*, 22*, 31*, 14*, 14*, 50* and 11*. Overall in T20Is, he has not been dismissed in 17 matches. Pandey has featured in 38 T20Is, and the numbers are impressive.
The finishing role was given to Pandey in the T20Is against NZ and he excelled at large. In the fourth and fifth T20I, his contributions helped India get past the 160-mark which then helped the bowlers defend.
In the first T20I, his unbeaten 62-run partnership with Shreyas Iyer helped India chase down a 200-plus total at Eden Park.
What he offered here was the basic principles as a finisher. He brings shades of MS Dhoni. Pandey may not be the real accelerator like MSD but he almost fits the bill well.
Another prime aspect he carries is the running between wickets. On the field, his brilliance on the boundary helped India save plenty of runs.

How will Pandey feature in the World T2o team?

If Shikhar Dhawan manages to be fit during the World T20, then we have him and Rohit Sharma as ideal opening options.
KL Rahul will be pushed to number five and that means Pandey will keep his number six position. He batted at number six in the series against NZ. It was a new position for the player and he adjusted well.
He recently stated that he is more comfortable batting in the top order.
India has options aplenty there and the best position he can be offered is the number six. “I would still bat at number three, as it gives me more time.
The competition is really tough here, you have to keep squeezing in. If they give you number six, you have to take it. I would like to contribute for the team whenever I can,” he said after the fourth T20I against NZ.
With Pandey coming in the number six position, India can go with five regular bowlers. Also, if Pandya comes in, he can be the fourth pacer and take that number seven position. So the options are set for the Men in Blue.
The upcoming ODIs will be another crucial series for Team India. And the management will follow how Pandey contributes.
With Ravindra Jadeja at number seven, you have experience riding on the shoulders. The former will be looking to build upon the chances presented and have his focus on the ICC T20 World Cup.
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