Full name Manish Krishnanand Pandey
Born Sept 10, 1989, Nainital, Uttaranchal
Playing role Top-order batsman
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Right-arm medium
Manish Pandey – a name that will forever be remembered as the first Indian player to score a century in the world’s most lucrative league – an unbeaten 114 off 73 deliveries to propel the Royal Challengers Bangalore into the knockouts of the 2009 edition of the Indian Premier League. The teenager shot to limelight, courtesy the aforementioned hundred in South Africa, and was immediately looked upon as a potential limited-overs option for India.
Pandey has since been a vital cog for the Karnataka domestic side. A flamboyant stroke maker in the middle-order, Pandey rose through the ranks after starting off with Mysore in a state-level tournament. He was later scouted to play for the India Under-19 team in 2008 under Virat Kohli. He wasn’t particularly impressive in India’s victorious U-19 campaign…
Nevertheless fast established himself with his swift batting and his breathtaking fielding in domestic cricket, proving that he was no one-match wonder. He had a breakthrough Ranji season in 2009-10 with 882 runs, ending up as the highest run-getter including four 100s and five 50s at an average of 63, showcasing his consistency and appetite for runs. He had a memorable, albeit heart-breaking end to the season, when he fell agonisingly short of taking Karnataka to victory over Mumbai in the final of the Ranji Trophy. His exemplary 144 in the fourth innings, though, was soaked in grit and character and was etched in the memory of the selectors even though Karnataka fell short by 6 runs to lose a final for the ages.
Pandey had a match in which he could not be kept out of the action, and put on a one-man show as only one other batsman managed to cross the 50-run mark. In addition, Pandey took a breathtaking catch to dismiss Abhishek Nayar – one that went viral on social media. It was a vital wicket in the context of the game and certainly made the selectors sit up and take notice of a young man who had exhibited impressive big-match temperament. Surely, an India call-up was on the cards…
He was subsequently picked in the Board President’s XI to play against a touring South African side in early 2010, scoring a fluent 43, but fell out of the national radar for a while after that. Pandey was back to his domestic antics in the 2013-14 Ranji season and became the second highest run-getter for his side.
Pandey’s role model is Rahul Dravid, and the youngster has gone on record saying that he feels much indebted and inspired by the senior batsman. Pandey’s batting though, contains more strokes and flamboyance, his trademark shot being the swat-flick, which he uses to good effect to while slogging as well as whilst rotating the strike.
Alas, with the 2015 Cricket World Cup round the corner and a settled batting order, India resisted the temptation of trying out new players, and decided not to tinker with the combination, leaving fringe players like Manish Pandey out of contention.
However, after India’s unsuccessful title defence, India started to test their bench-strength, and Manish was handed a debut during the ODI tour of Zimbabwe in mid-2015. He grabbed his opportunity with both hands, scoring 71 in his maiden innings. Nevertheless, his match-winning 104* against Australia at the (SCG) in January 2016 brought him into the limelight. He made the world sit up and take notice of him; he had made a statement that he had the temperament for the big stage, even at the international level.
Manish once again had a lean patch against New Zealand in October 2016, but was named in the 15-man squad for the Champions Trophy in June 2017, in a show of faith by the selectors. However, as fate would have it, he injured himself during the IPL and regrettably missed out on his first ICC event for India. However, the selectors persisted with him and a good tour of South Africa with the ‘A’ team ensured that he was back in their plans – when the squad for the ODI series in Sri Lanka was announced.
Pandey has fast established himself as a reliable stroke-maker in the middle-order of the Indian team and is now under serious contention for making it to the 2019 World Cup in the United Kingdom, barring any injuries. With the ability to pull out unorthodox strokes under pressure, and with Dhoni playing the sheet-anchor and soaking up pressure, the onus lies on Pandya and Pandey to provide the impetus to bring cricket’s most coveted trophy back to India.
IPL through the years
Manish Pandey is a right-handed floating batsman, who is adaptable across the top- and middle-order in terms of batting. He was first picked for the Mumbai Indians in the inaugural season of the IPL and had a rather quiet season with the bat, and was eventually released by the franchise and signed by the Royal Challengers Bangalore for the 2009 season. It is for the RCB, that Pandey created history, scoring the first IPL hundred by an Indian in the 2009 edition of the league in South Africa. He was retained by the franchise by the 2010 season, but was released in the next season after he failed to turn out any performances of note. After three quiet seasons with the wildly unsuccessful franchise, Pune Warriors India, Manish Pandey was picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2014, and picked the perfect time to turn out a match-winning innings – the final of the tournament. He scored 94 in the final to trump Saha’s hundred, beating the Punjab franchise and helping them coast to their maiden title. Once again, Pandey struggled for consistency, and was released by the Knight Riders in 2018, and signed by the Sunrisers. He had a torrid season with the bat in 2018, but the franchise has shown trust in him going into the 2019 season. He will certainly make the starting XI, but it is time Pandey repays the trust of the franchise with some big runs…
BATTING & FIELDING STATS