IPL is seen as a great chance for every young cricketer, and Manish Pandey has taken the same ladder to rise to the horizon as an Indian cricketer. He played alongside Virat Kohli during the U19 World Cup 2008, but rose to fame during the second season of IPL in 2009, where he became the first Indian to score a hundred in the league.
But he would want to be remembered for more than just being the first Indian to score a hundred in IPL. In a recent interview to The Times of India, the KKR batsman said, “That hundred was a big achievement at that time as I was only 19 years of age. I just wanted to make sure, I played for the country.”
Pandey has earned 20 caps for India in limited overs cricket, batting at different positions in the middle order. He scored a match-winning hundred in Australia batting at number 4 and that is where he finds himself most comfortable at.
He told TOI, “I would love to bat at 4 as I normally bat at that slot. Batting at 5 & 6 is tougher because you have to judge the pace of the game quickly and bat with someone like MS Dhoni.”
Manish Pandey is happy with the exposure he got from the Indian Premier League. He specifically appreciated the time he has spent with Jacques Kallis during his 2 year stint with RCB and later with KKR. He explained, “There is always something to learn from him (Kallis). He told me that I have many strokes and that it was important for me to stay at the wicket.”
Along with the legendary all rounder, Pandey also acknowledged the support he has enjoyed from his skipper Gautam Gambhir in IPL. He said, “He backs his players and that is what he has done with me. I have played most of the games and KKR did play a role for me to play in the higher level by giving me opportunities.”
Since his U19 days, Pandey has played under Kohli, Dhoni and Gambhir and feels that he has learned something from each of them. Playing just 20 games in over 2 years, Pandey doesn’t feel he has not got his recognition. He said he just want to concentrate on cricket and does not care about what fans think and what pans out behind him.