HomeAnalysisWhat lies ahead for Manish Pandey?

What lies ahead for Manish Pandey?

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The current distance between Manish Pandey and the Indian Cricket team seems the size of the Atlantic Ocean.
Who’s to be blamed?
Surely, Manish Pandey cannot do anything about the sheer bench-strength of the Indian cricket side. Even before India flew off to England, there were rumours that only Rishabh Pant is going to break into the Test side.
First, he debuted. Now, he’s also in the final Test of the series.
Here’s an interesting catch.
None predicted the inclusion of Hanuma Vihari anywhere. He’s already a record-breaker of sorts; having struck a fifty in his debut inning, let alone the entirety of 2 innings. No one even thought that Prithvi Shaw’s name would come up. It’s one thing that he’s not been debuted thus far. But probably, it’s just a matter of time.
These are indeed interesting developments. Vihari’s already in. Pandya, in a matter of a couple of series ahead, would make the part of a fairly experienced Test player. Pant will hopefully hold on. Prithvi, the current future of Indian cricket, will debut at some point for sure. Then, one will expect Shubhman Gill to appear, as he should. While the likes of Sanju Samson, around the circuit for nearly over five years, haven’t yet made Test debut, there’ll be concerns for Karun Nair.
And it won’t be hard to understand why. Surely, you don’t want a batsman with a Test triple warming the bench. Placing a few sports kits instead can do the job.
Among all these developments, where’s Manish Pandey?

When’s Manish Pandey going to come back?

Manish Pandey last played for India in December 2017 (Image: India Today)

This Indian Cricket side resembles an outfit that’s constantly growing each passing series. It’s becoming a shape-shifting sci-fi robot, straight out of the Transformers fixture; one doesn’t quite know how many promising names will be consumed in the wake of its growth?
Amid this, a realisation about Manish Pandey strikes the mind.
For all intents and purposes, Manish Pandey isn’t a born entertainer. You don’t sit to the edge of your seat when he changes gears in batting. The world doesn’t pause in awe, admiring every-tiny second of the right-hander walking out to bat.
This isn’t a harsh assessment of the bloke who’s turned 29. It’s just how it is.
But that said, a record of playing only a few ODI contests doesn’t put a seal on his career, let alone an unbreakable lock.
Need proof? Here’s a perspective.
Pandey appeared in 22 ODIs. He ended up wielding the bat in just 17 of those. In that effort, he tried to prove his worth in remaining unbeaten on 5 occasions.

That throws a clear reflection of his effort.

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Selectors should not ignore the consistent performances that Manish Pandey is putting (Image: ibtimes)

Would you nullify the presence of a bloke- in a team that often desperately needs the lower-middle order to fire Scud missiles- who’s only been dismissed on 11 occasions from 22 games?
In so doing, Pandey’s already struck his maiden hundred and collected 2 fifties.
The last that he played an ODI was back in December of 2017. In another couple of months’ time, it would be 1 full year of going minus Manish Pandey.
This only amplifies the exalted expectation of ‘what might’ occur if Pandey’s brought back?
If you were in his shoes, the feeling of being remembered as the first Indian to score an IPL century, despite featuring in 25 T20s and 22 ODIs, may not be the biggest source of happiness?
Who wishes to be remembered as an IPL prodigy alone when there’s so much to gather in top-notch international cricket?
In popular culture, the line from a famous Tom Hanks movie said, “the world will never be the same once you’ve seen in from the eyes of Forrest Gump.” In a similar vein, a notion cannot be avoided, “the world does appear uncertain if you are seeing it from the eyes of Manish Pandey.”
It’s not that the selectors have turned a blind eye on him. But there’s a huge surprise that he wasn’t picked for the T20s against England. There’s also little surprise that not an awful lot has been said about him especially in the wake of his recent efforts against Australia and Sri Lankan A teams.

How Manish Pandey has fared off lately

Manish Pandey has been in sublime form of late (Image: cricrevolution)

If you were wondering what this rather fast runner between the wickets has been up to in recent days, then it might be a worthy idea to glaze past his recent gatherings.
Manish Pandey’s managed scores of 73, 117, 21, and 95 in his last four appearances, all of which have come against formidable sides, such as Australia A and India B.
What’s interesting is that he’s remained unbeaten in each of these innings. If you were to rewind back even further, then you’d find that the only appearance he’s had in the last quarter or so has been that 2-match T20 series. Other than that, one hasn’t quite seen Pandey donning the blue jersey.
At a time where ad campaigns are rolling a massive buck in the form of ‘Bleed Blue’, it’s not hard to see who’s the one who’s bleeding?

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