Manish Pandey made a comeback to the Indian side in the 4th ODI against Sri Lanka in Colombo. He scored a useful half-century on his comeback batting in the middle-order.
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma scored superlative hundreds but after their dismissals, India lost a few wickets in a hurry. Pandey joined hands with MS Dhoni and added 101 runs for the 6th wicket to guide the team to a massive 375 which proved to be too much for Sri Lanka.
Manish Pandey appeared in the press conference after the match and said that he wants to strengthen his place in the side with consistent performances.
“Middle order is where I bat. Starting from no.4 to no.6 I have batted at different positions for India. I have to be ready for whatever spot I get. So if I get a chance then I need to get some runs and cement that spot for myself first,” Pandey said.
“Then if you keep performing and you keep playing better, then maybe you come one up in the order. So that will be my goal to fix a spot or two for myself, stay there at the end and win games for India,” added Pandey.
“Even batting through the India-A series, I batted very similar to the way I batted today. So it was not too different for me to come back and think about it like it was my first game in a long time. I have been batting well in the nets and I just had to watch the ball and play,” he mentioned.
“The start was really important for us. I think we did well, given the fact that it was really hot. The guys were batting very well and were looking for boundaries.” he said.
“The way Virat and Rohit batted, getting their hundreds, I thought it allowed us to come back in the middle overs (after the collapse) and look for boundaries. It was a little easier for us in the end,” the right-hander added.
“My mindset was to spend some time on the wicket first, like how many balls I should take initially. I need to take at least 6-10 balls to know what’s the wicket like. It was spinning a bit when the middle-order got out but as I said there was a plan to spend some time and eventually it came off well for me. There were wickets falling on the other side but I had to keep my calm and rotate the strike,” he added.
MS is inspirational
Manish Pandey batted alongside Dhoni in the last game and bailed the side out of a slightly tricky situation. He hailed the former captain for his continued support to the youngsters.
“To play 300 ODIs is a lot of experience. Like half the things you have probably learnt are by way of looking at the way Dhoni conducts himself. It is inspirational, especially for a guy like me who started my career under him, so it’s always good to be there and learn from him,” said Pandey.
“I have played a few games with him already. I know how he plays. I know how he likes to rotate strike. I like to bat with somebody who loves to do that. Occasionally we get some fours and that’s how we keep the scoreboard ticking. With Mahi bhai, you are always on your toes and he keeps giving you advice,” he added.