Birthday special: Manish Pandey – The talented star who is yet to achieve his best

For as long as anyone can remember, Manish Pandey has been on and off the Indian squad. Pandey’s fate hasn’t changed despite changes in coaching, captaincy, and game dynamics. There may be blame placed on both sides of the coin. Did the athlete not put out enough effort to keep or safeguard his position, or did the administration not provide enough chances?

Pandey’s career may be summarised in three words: unpredictable injuries, occasional opportunities, and inconsistent performance. And the player has been through it all, not just once but repeatedly. But what comes above all this are his achievements as a prolific batter for whichever team he plays for.

Recently, Pandey led Gulbarga Mystics to a victory in the first-ever edition of the Maharaja Trophy KSCA T20 League 2022, and the skipper also grabbed the Man of the Match award for his thrilling performance. That shows how hard Pandey is working on himself to get back with the Indian side.

Few people are aware that one of India’s quick fielders. Pandey, has a higher Yo-Yo test score (19.2) than wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Hardik Pandya, and Virat Kohli (17.3). Since 2013, the Indian team has failed to win an ICC tournament, and the same factors have contributed to their failure in major matches. In ICC event finals, veteran players like Kohli, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah have struggled to maintain composure sometimes.

In hopes of getting a chance to play for India again, captain Manish Pandey seized the chance with both hands and demonstrated to the selectors what he is capable of doing under pressure, during the Maharaja Trophy.  Whether you like him or not, you can’t deny the silent cricketer’s dedication to his craft. The will to score runs in every inning is another trait that is easy to measure.

No one has an idea what the BCCI selectors will think of these efforts. But what must be acknowledged in respect is that those with talents like Manish Pandey should at the very least be given one opportunity to serve the nation before his career is done. Undoubtedly, he isn’t getting any younger at the age of 32. However, it should be emphasized that traits like his timing with the bat and his resolve haven’t aged.

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