Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer: Two different players with a same story
Last week, BCCI announced the ODI squad for the tour of Australia and New Zealand and Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer, the two limited-overs specialists were not selected for the tours. The fans too were not happy with the two being excluded and expressed their thoughts via tweeting. Pandey and Iyer have been in great form for the previous six months and are very unfortunate to miss out from the One Day squad.
The countdown for the 2019 World Cup has already begun with less than five months left for the grand tournament to kickstart. Although, the squad for the World Cup has not been announced and with not many matches left for India to play before World Cup it seems impossible for the two to make it into the final fifteen. Both have been in and out of the limited over setup for the last 12 months but mostly have been warming the bench with not many chances being given to them to prove themselves.
#1 Shreyas Iyer
Shreyas Iyer has been consistent in the domestic circuit in all formats for the last three years. He averages over 53 and has scored 2500+ runs in last three seasons in first-class cricket and one might wonder why he had not played a single test for India.
The captain of the Delhi Capitals had an overwhelming List A season, he was named the captain of Mumbai side for 2018-19 Vijay Hazare Trophy. Iyer led his team from the front to win the title being undefeated throughout the tournament. He was also the leading run-scorer for his side with 373 runs. Shreyas also captained India B in the 2018-19 Deodhar Trophy and took his team to the final but lost to India C. He was also the leading run scorer of the tournament with 199 runs.
Iyer carried his good form to the land of Kiwis and scored two fifties in three games versus New Zealand A. Probably the luck is not in his favour for God only knows why he is not chosen for the upcoming ODIs, even after being in the T20 squad in the recently concluded three-match T20 series against Australia.
#2 Manish Pandey
Back in 2009 if anyone would have predicted where would Manish Pandey be after 10 years, definitely not in the situation he is in right now. Pandey is one of the best middle-order batsmen and a match-winner in the present era.
Manish averages 51 and has scored 5876 runs in his first-class career and he too is yet to make his Test debut. Scoring runs for India A and not being selected on the Indian side is not new for him.
Pandey averages 355.5 in his last 11 innings playing for India A and India B. 5, 111*, 42, 73*, 117*, 21*, 95*, 32*, 95*, 86*,41* are the scores in his last 11 innings playing for India A and India B. He captained India B in the Quadrangular A series and won it.
The prolific Karnataka batsman has captained India A for last four years and had won each of the tournament he captained. He is the leading run-getter for the A side for last three years. Pandey was captain of India A and scored 158 runs including a hundred in three innings against New Zealand A and had ticked all the boxes to be selected in India's One Day squad and the result was opposite.
The selection of players by the selection committee has been completely bizarre, performance in IPL has been preferred over the domestic league and A side tournaments.
The one clear rule being, have a great IPL season and play for the national side. Dhoni was dropped from T20s for Pant and now vice versa, Karthik played Asia Cup but was dropped against Windies, similar things happened with Pandey and Iyer. The biggest mystery is how had KL Rahul been able to retain himself he didn't have best of time in 2018 but still manages to continue, aside who keeps a back opener in the squad for he's no good playing at number four.
Whatever the reason might be but to worst part is the that two great talents not being included to play India even after performing exceptionally well who could be a possible permanent solution for India's middle-order woes.