I hope to open again: Pandey

Pune Warriors India batsman wants to learn more from his skipper and teammates

By Hoshedar N. Gundevia
Pune 24 April 2012
Sport is all about seizing the advantage when given an opportunity. The Pune Warriors India lost their reverse fixture against the Delhi Daredevils, but the Sourav Ganguly-led side could well have found an answer to their ever-changing opening situation. Manish Pandey made the best of the opportunity given to him as he proved his class against a top bowling attack.

Pandey’s unbeaten 80-run knock was overshadowed by Virender Sehwag’s match-winning innings. But the 22-year-old’s batting display was the only shining light on an otherwise uninspiring day for the Warriors. With the opening slot proving to be a huge source of worry for PWI, the budding right-hander has gone a long way in making his case for claiming that position in the batting line-up.

Excerpts from the brief chat with Manish Pandey:

Were you lacking in confidence before this knock?

Not exactly; I was waiting to open the innings as I am used to it. Dada [Sourav Ganguly] gave me the opportunity and I am blessed. I was playing well in the nets and I was just waiting for a good opportunity.

Do you feel you’ve done enough to open the batting permanently?

As I opened the batting today and played well, I’m hoping that I will open in the next game as well with Jesse [Ryder]. This was probably the opportunity I was waiting for. Today, I played a decent knock. If I continue playing such knocks and contribute to the team, I will definitely get the chance to open again.

Are you hoping that the national selectors were watching this innings?

If I do well in the IPL, I might get a chance to play for the national side. You face a lot better bowlers at the international level and IPL is a confidence and a morale booster for all the youngsters.

PWI is in the top four in the IPL. Where do you see your team going from here?

We didn’t do so well in the last season, and this time we came back really hard and strong. We have been playing some good cricket and beat DD in Delhi but couldn’t do it here today. It depends on the performances of all the players; their accumulative efforts.

Despite some ordinary performances in the previous games, Dada kept faith in you.

I played only four out of the eight games. Dada gave me fair chances and I could have done better. I got to open in one game and couldn’t capitalise [on] it. I was pushed down the order after that, which doesn’t suit my style of batting. If I keep doing well, I’ll stick to this position and perform well for my team.

How has your experience with PWI been so far?

We have world-class players in the team and Dada as our leader. There is a lot to learn as a 22-year-old. I need to keep working hard and keep myself strong in order to improve my game.
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