Teams Played For
Karnataka, Board Presidents XI, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Pune Warriors, India Blue, India A, South Zone, Kolkata Knight Riders, India, Mumbai Indians, Mysuru Warriors, India AT20, India Red, India B, Belagavi Panthers, Sunrisers Hyderabad
When you talk about Manish Pandey the first thing which is bound to come to your mind is the century which he struck in the 2nd season of IPL in South Africa while playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the process, he also became the first Indian batsmen to smash a century in the cash rich league. A brilliant stroke player, Manish Pandey has been on the selection radar for a long time now.
The right-handed batsman has been a prolific run-scorer for Karnataka in the domestic circuit. An exuberance of flamboyance and power, Pandey is an attacking middle-order batsman with an abundance of talent. However, he hasn’t been consistent enough which hasn’t really helped him cement his side in the national team.
Pandey was a prolific run-scorer in age-group cricket and slowly but steadily started rising through the ranks. He was part of the Mysore stateside before grabbing an opportunity to play for the Indian U 19 team for the 2008 Under 19 World Cup which was won by the young Indian team led by Virat Kohli. However, he failed to impress much despite India’s dominance in the tournament.
Despite his below-par run in the U 19 World Cup, the youngster made his presence felt in the domestic circuit with his hard-hitting and flamboyant batting. He was always a livewire in the field and his name started doing the rounds owing to his exceptional batting prowess in the 2009-10 Ranji Trophy season. He was the highest scorer that season amassing 882 runs at an impressive average of 63. It also included 4 centuries and 5 half-centuries.
Despite his batting brilliance he along with Karnataka fell agonizingly close to winning the Ranji Trophy title. He smashed an innings for the ages with his knock of 144 in the 4th innings as Karnataka fell short by just 6 runs. It was this particular knock which made the selectors take notice. It was sheer brilliance from Pandey who also took a stunning catch in that match which went viral on social media.
Following the Ranji season, Pandey was drafted into the Board President’s XI to play a match against the touring South African side ahead of a Test series back in 2010. After a poor run of form, Pandey was out of the selection radar for around 3 years. It was in the 2013-14 Ranji season which was again the breakthrough season for Pandey. He finished as the 2nd highest run-getter of the tournament.
The national team already had a settled unit and getting a chance in the middle order was very difficult. The Indian team management wasn’t eager to change their combination ahead of the 2015 World Cup and hence Pandey was ignored. It was after India’s ouster from the tournament that the fringe players started getting chances for the national team.
He was drafted into the squad for the tour of Zimbabwe in mid-2015. He was spectacular in his debut knock as he smashed 71. However not many took notice especially given the fact that it was a pretty lackluster Zimbabwe side. His first moment of recognition in India colors came in 2016 when he smashed a match-winning century against Australia in the final match of the 5 matches bilateral ODI series. It was a special knock given the amount of pressure India was in, chasing a big score of 330.
Despite his poor run in New Zealand in 2016, Pandey was named in the 2017 Champions Trophy squad. However, in an unforeseen turn of events, Pandey sustained an injury during the IPL which forced him to miss his first ICC event. He was also overlooked for the 2019 World Cup. He has been a terrific T20 player and he managed to prove his worth against the Kiwis as India drubbed the Kiwis 5-0 in the T20I series.
Pandey has been a seasoned campaigner as far as IPL is concerned. Starting his journey with the Royal Challengers Bangalore, he is currently one of the most important members of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad. He was also with the Kolkata Knight Riders and it was his knock of 98 against the Kings XI Punjab in the 2014 IPL Final which KKR lift the title for the 2nd time.