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Manish Pandey admits immense competition for spots in Indian cricket team

Manish Pandey has said that despite the dominant winning streak of the Indian cricket team, there is pressure for spots in Virat Kohli’s side.

india vs australia 2017 Updated: Sep 26, 2017 19:41 IST
Siddharth Vishwanathan
Indian cricketer Manish Pandey arrives for a practice session.
Indian cricketer Manish Pandey arrives for a practice session. (AP)

Manish Pandey has had modest returns in the ongoing series against Australia, scoring 0,3 and 36* in Chennai, Kolkata and Indore respectively.

Heading into the fourth ODI at the M Chinnaswamy stadium, the right-hander is determined to put in a good show but has admitted that he is under pressure.

“There is pressure. I am here to try and stay here for the longest time,” Pandey said, speaking in the press conference during India’s training session.

“I want to play more games and help win matches for India. There is competition for spots. So, I will have to put in all the hard work,” he added.

The Indian cricket team has won nine straight ODI games since the West Indies series. The top order has contributed some big scores while the lower middle order chipped in at vital times.

However, the No.4 and No.5 slots have been a bit of a problem, with both Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav not performing consistently in this series.

Experimentation Mantra

The Indian team is currently experimenting with their batting order. Hardik Pandya was promoted to bat at No.4 for the first time in the Indore ODI whilst KL Rahul was also brought in for some games during the Sri Lanka to bat in the middle order.

Pandey, who batted at No.6 in Indore, said that he wants to capitalise on the chances given in the Australia series.

“We are trying to build a bunch for the next World Cup. You have to give enough chances to people. I am getting the chances and I have to use this opportunity to perform well,” Pandey said.

Virat Kohli had stressed the need to experiment as India prepares to build a core for the 2019 World Cup.

“Now is the time to give players certain roles to get into the groove and understand what we need to do in reaching that World Cup final,” Kohli had said during the Sri Lanka series.

‘All departments clicking’

In 2016, Manish Pandey scored his maiden ODI century against Australia in Sydney to help India avoid a 5-0 whitewash.

However, things are different at home as India have now registered their third straight bilateral ODI series win at home against Australia.

When asked whether that team was different from the current side, Pandey stated, “Some things are not clicking for them. While they have good batsmen at the top, their middle order is not contributing.

“All departments in our team are clicking. We are well prepared now,” he added.