Manish Pandey has opened up about his gradual exclusion team from the Indian team following a string of poor performances, stating he was aware that other better-performing players deserved a chance over him. He went on to talk about his future plans and a possible comeback to the national squad.
Manish Pandey has had to endure a tough two years in his professional life, losing out on his place in the Indian squad in both ODIs and T20Is followed by disappointing performances in the Indian Premier League and the domestic circuit. The batter last represented the Men in Blue in an ODI in July last year against Sri Lanka, marking nearly four years without a half-century in the format on the international stage. In a recent interview with Sportskeeda, the 33-year-old acknowledged that he had to be dropped from the lineup considering the ascent of talents such as Sanju Samson, even though he was not played enough in his preferred position of number three.
“See obviously, individually I would feel a little sad about it. But I am sure, whatever calls the Indian team was taking or whoever was playing a certain number of games, I was happy for them. Sanju was batting well, so I thought he should have now gotten games and he did. So no hard feelings there. But on a personal front, I would obviously want to play a lot more games and prove myself at the highest level. But unfortunately, that didn’t happen. Maybe see how it goes from here on,” Pandey admitted.
Pandey received a further blow recently when he was released by the Lucknow Super Giants for the next season of the IPL without prior communication. However, the batsman stayed optimistic given his vast experience of over 600 professional games.
“I have been through that situation even with the Indian team. Because there were a lot of times where I have not played a lot of games and I have been sitting out. You actually feel a little sad about it, but it is all in the spirit of the game where the team requires something and then you have to abide by that. So I have been in these kinds of situations before and I think I should not be letting all these things affect me which will eventually affect my game. So I just want to be in the present. If I get an opportunity, I want to play and score well and see how it goes from there,” he added.
Pandey is currently plying his trade in the ongoing Vijay Hazare Trophy where he has tallied 226 runs in seven games for Karnataka at an average of 37.66, including a half-century against Assam. Even so, his comeback to the national setup looks far from likely at the moment, especially given the talent pool the team has conjured up in recent years en route to the number-one rank in T20Is.
“Unfortunately, we could not win the World Cup this time. But we had a solid team. And my inclusion depends on so many things. Again it’ll be the whole cycle – a lot of people who will be performing in the IPL will come up, and we will have to form teams around that. Looking at the top 20 or the top 25 that we have, we have a really solid side and we are still No. 1,” Pandey concluded on the matter.