Manish Pandey eyeing ODI spot ahead of Asia Cup
Out-of-favour batsman Manish Pandey has admitted that he is aiming for a spot in the Indian team for the upcoming Asia Cup. Speaking to reporters at the KSCA Grounds in Alur after India B's loss to Australia A, he said:
"Personally, I just think about batting. I'm looking at the middle order at the moment, trying to seal that position".
"This series was a proving ground to get some runs and get looked at for the Asia Cup. I want to enjoy myself, there is competition, but I want to focus on what I do best".
Pandey's 109-ball 117 came in a losing cause, as his side suffered a stunning last-ball loss to Australia A, with centurion Usman Khawaja and Jack Wildermuth steering their side to a much-needed win.
One of the many options that were tried out at the No.4 spot for India in ODIs last year, Pandey's last outing in the Indian jersey was in June when he played two T20Is against Ireland in Dublin.
His last ODI was against Sri Lanka in the home series in December 2017, when he played under Rohit Sharma.
Recalling his brief visit to the United Kingdom, Pandey admitted that he 'wanted to switch off' and tend to a few minor injuries he had been carrying.
"I wasn't feeling good, so I took a three-week break after the UK tour," he said. "I wanted to switch off, took time off the game, and then used the time to focus on a couple of niggles and get myself mentally fresh. That seems to have helped."
Pandey has been on song in the Quadrangular series, having compiled a total of 233 runs without getting dismissed even once.
"I'm in a better frame of mind now, sometimes a break does that to you. Runs made for India A count, and getting big runs here is a boost for me ahead of a big season," he added.