Former India opener Aakash Chopra has stated that Manish Pandey missed a great opportunity to showcase his skills at the international level in the recently concluded ODI series against Sri Lanka.
Manish Pandey managed only 74 runs in the three matches against the Lankans at an average of 24.67 and a strike rate of 82.22. The 31-year-old registered scores of 26, 37 and 11 in the three games against Sri Lanka.
According to Chopra, Manish Pandey should be particularly disappointed with his dismissal in the first match. India were chasing a relatively easy target of 263 and were cruising to victory. Manish Pandey, however, fell for 26 off 40, with India’s score at 215.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Chopra opined that the road ahead for Manish Pandey could be a tough one considering that the other youngsters in the team have grabbed their opportunities. He stated:
“Manish Pandey will be very upset. Not about the third ODI. In this match, he came back after the rain break, lost concentration and played a bad shot to get out. It was a good ball from Praveen Jayawickrama, who was very good in the third ODI. Akila Dananjaya also bowled well.”
“But Manish Pandey would be thinking about the first match. He should have made runs in that game. He could have easily scored a 70-80 but did not capitalize on the opportunity. He unfortunately got run out in the second match and, in the last game, he got a good ball. These failures have put him on the backfoot. The path ahead is tough for Manish Pandey,” admitted Chopra.
Manish Pandey has been batting really well: Suryakumar Yadav defends struggling batsman
Despite the lack of runs, man of the series Suryakumar Yadav defended Manish Pandey at a post-match press conference. Responding to a query from IPL 2021 on Manish Pandey getting a third chance in spite of failing in the first two games, Yadav said that the decision to play him was the team management’s call. Yadav, however, added:
“Manish Pandey has been batting really well as we saw in the practice games. We played intra-squad matches as well. In the last game, he was batting really well, but he got dismissed in an unfortunate way.”
Manish Pandey has so far featured in 29 ODIs and 39 T20Is and has scored 566 and 709 runs respectively. He has registered one hundred and two fifties in one-dayers and has three half-centuries to his name in the T20I format.
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