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Manish Pandey says lack of consistency the reason for him being in and out of side

Manish Pandey believes him not getting enough opportunities and the fact that he hasn’t been able to make good use of his chances is the reason he’s been unable to cement a spot in the Indian cricket team middle-order.

cricket Updated: Feb 22, 2018 09:07 IST
Khurram Habib
Khurram Habib
Hindustan Times, Centurion
India vs South Africa,Indian cricket team,South African cricket team
India's batsman Manish Pandey plays a shot as South Africa's wicketkeeper Heinrich Klaasen watches during the second T20 match between South Africa and India at Centurion Park in Pretoria, South Africa on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. (AP)

Manish Pandey, the Indian cricket team’s batting hero on Wednesday, felt lack of opportunities as well as his inability to grab them and perform consistently has made it tough for him to cement a spot in the India middle order. (IND v SA 2nd T20 report)

Pandey is best remembered for helping India win an ODI in Australia in 2016 with a fighting century as well as scoring a hundred at Centurion during the 2009 IPL. He again came good at the venue. (Highlights) (Full scorecard)

India, struggling at 90/4, looked like getting restricted to a very modest total on Wednesday. However, Pandey came to the rescue and in the company of MS Dhoni took the team to 188 in their 20 overs.

It wasn’t enough to guarantee his side a victory but the innings showed that Pandey has the talent and heart to play under pressure.

Asked if it is the case of him not getting opportunities or that he hasn’t been able to make good use of the chances, Pandey said it has been a bit of both.

“Sometimes I feel that because I bat at No. 5. (But) most of the times I got chances at No. 4, I delivered. But the batting combination sometimes pushes me down to No. 5. I have tried my bit but I also feel that I could also probably do a little bit more with myself,” he told reporters after the match.

“As you know, India have a really good line up and the top 3 bat till 30-35 overs and with Mahi coming ahead of me. But yeah, some more chances and I wish I could deliver more. And I feel I can deliver a lot more than what I am doing right now,” he added.

Pandey had made 79 off 48 balls – his knock included six fours and three sixes. He feels being in and out of the team works against you whenever you are trying to come back.

“Honestly it’s a little tough and it works on your mind a lot. Especially on this tour, I have felt it a lot actually. But you have to wait your chances, especially playing for a team like India when you have so many stars and legends after legends in the line-up.”

The Karnataka batsman feels that it is tough to step into the shoes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina who have done a great job at No. 5.

“The people who have batted at No. 5 before me have been guys like Raina, Yuvraj. To step into their shoes is a little tough but it has been a couple of years until now that the Indian batting line-up is doing really well. I think you have to be very patient for your chances.”

Pandey said that they eventually managed to get 20 runs more than they had expected.

“The wicket was a little slow and we thought the bowlers will bowl a lot slower, off cutters and all. Mahi is the best when he bats lower down the order, takes a couple of overs and looks to dominate and that’s what happened.

“He has done that a number of times. I thought the South African cricket team bowled well. It is just that a couple of inside edges went to the boundary and some great shots by Mahi took us to 188, but SA bowled fairly well today.”

First Published: Feb 22, 2018 08:53 IST