Manish Pandey has been raring to make a comeback into the side. With an unassailable lead in the ODI series against Sri Lanka, skipper Virat Kohli might be tempted to test his bench strength and give youngsters a chance to prove themselves. Of all the players on the bench, Pandey was supposed to be a regular in the team alongside Ajinkya Rahane who played in the Tests against Sri Lanka.
Pandey has been out of the side for a while now. He played his previous ODI against New Zealand in October 2016. He has been in and out of the side for a few years now. He would have been a sure shot in the team but KL Rahul’s return crowded the options for a berth in the side.
The Sri Lankan side is weak with their captain Upul Tharanga banned, stand-in captain Chamara Kapugedara out of the side due to other issues and veteran batsman Dinesh Chandimal injured. Kohli might be looking to make the most of it and give other players a chance to have a crack in the ODI series.
Pandey made a name for himself during the India vs Australia ODI series 2015-16 when he rescued the team from a batting collapse. Pandey scored an unbeaten ton and took the win home by chasing a mammoth target against Australia, the only ODI they won in the series.
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 30, 2017
Pandey has been consistent for India’s ‘A’ list as well. He recently scored 93 to rescue the team against South Africa and guided them to a nerve-wracking win by one wicket in the last over.
The challenge against Pandey is not just KL Rahul. Kedar Jadhav, too, has cemented his spot in the team as a batting all-rounder who has a golden arm and answers to the skipper Virat Kohli’s call whenever a partnership needs to be broken. It is possible that Kohli tries to experiment with 2019 World Cup in his mind.