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Manish Pandey flatters MS Dhoni by terming him as an inspiration

Pandey hailed the knocks played by Kohli and Rohit and claimed that it paved the way for the middle order to capitalize on the opportunity without much pressure.

MS Dhoni and Manish Pandey. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Indian batsman Manish Pandey played an unbeaten and crucial knock of 50 runs when India took on Sri Lanka in the 4th ODI at the Premadasa. After swashbuckling centuries from skipper Virat Kohli and ‘hitman’ Rohit Sharma, Pandey combined with MS Dhoni to take the Indian total to 375 in their 50 designated overs.

After bringing up the second half century of his senior team career, Pandey made it clear that his primary focus is on rooting his place in the Indian playing XI. The batsman is an epitome o self-confidence and stated that he would grab the opportunity to bat at any position for the team according to the needs.

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“Middle order is where I bat. Starting from no.4 to no.6 I have batted at different positions for India. I have to be ready for whatever spot I get. So if I get a chance then I need to get some runs and cement that spot for myself first,” Pandey said at the post-match press conference last night.

“Then if you keep performing and you keep playing better, then maybe you come one up in the order. So that will be my goal to fix a spot or two for myself, stay there at the end and win games for India.” added Pandey.

Pandey brought up his 50 off just 42 balls against Sri lanka and hammered 4 boundaries in the process. Speaking about the knock, Pandey mentioned that it was similar to his knocks for India-A and there was not much of a difference.

“Even batting through the India-A series, I batted very similar to the way I batted today. So it was not too different for me to come back and think about it like it was my first game in a long time. I have been batting well in the nets and I just had to watch the ball and play,” Pandey mentioned.

Pandey hailed the knocks played by Kohli and Rohit and claimed that it paved the way for the middle order to capitalize on the opportunity without much pressure. According to Pandey, it took a few balls for him to read the pitch and had to take measured steps at first.

“The start was really important for us. I think we did well given the fact that it was really hot. The guys were batting very well and were looking for boundaries.” he said.

“The way Virat and Rohit batted, getting their hundreds, I thought it allowed us to come back in the middle overs (after the collapse) and look for boundaries. It was a little easier for us in the end,” Pandey said.

“My mindset was to spend some time on the wicket first, like how many balls I should take initially. I need to take at least 6-10 balls to know what’s the wicket like. It was spinning a bit when the middle-order got out but as I said there was a plan to spend some time and eventually it came off well for me. There were wickets falling on the other side but I had to keep my calm and rotate the strike,” he added.

On MS Dhoni:

Manish Pandey bowed down to MS Dhoni for being an inspiration for players like him. Pandey highlighted the fact that Dhoni makes batting easy for his partner by proving him with constant advice.

“To play 300 ODIs is a lot of experience. Like half the things you have probably learnt are by way of looking at the way Dhoni conducts himself. It is inspirational, especially for a guy like me who started my career under him, so it’s always good to be there and learn from him,” said Pandey.

“I have played a few games with him already. I know how he plays. I know how he likes to rotate strike. I like to bat with somebody who loves to do that. Occasionally we get some fours and that’s how we keep the scoreboard ticking. With Mahi bhai, you are always on your toes and he keeps giving you advice,” he added.

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