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Manish Pandey has the chance to shine for SRH in David Warner's absence

Akshay
CONTRIBUTOR
Feature
909   //    09 Apr 2018, 16:21 IST

Australia v India - Game 5
Time to step up...

David Warner has been a vital cog for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL not just as a captain but also as a Batsman. With Kane Williamson taking over as captain, Manish Pandey will be a player the franchise will expect to deliver with the bat.

Manish Krishnanand Pandey is a household name in Indian cricket. The Indian Middle order batsman first came to prominence by becoming the first Indian to score an IPL century at the age of 19. His 73-ball 114 run knock at the centurion that day was supposed to be the rise of a new cricketing superstar considering he was already a U-19 World Cup winner in the 2008 edition in Malaysia. But fate as always had other plans for the lad from Bangalore.

It took Pandey 7 years from then to make his International debut. He made his ODI debut for India in a series against Zimbabwe on the 14th of July 2015 and then went on to make his T20 debut in the same tour on the 17th of July.

This year’s IPL auctions saw some intense bidding for the Karnataka batsman who was finally bought by the Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise for a whopping 11 crore. The Sunrisers Hyderabad franchise had one of the best top orders in the IPL as Kane Williamson, David Warner and Manish Pandey were expected to bat at the top of the tree.

Now, with David Warner ruled out of the IPL, the onus will be on Pandey to anchor the innings for Hyderabad. With Warner not playing, though, the pressure on Pandey has increased. Warner's aggressive approach can't be matched by the current top order, but if Pandey can score runs quicker than usual, they can try and make up for the loss.

Pandey was consistent for Kolkata Knight Riders during the last couple of seasons. Sunrisers would be hoping for the same as they would look to repeat their victorious campaign of the 2016 season. With explosive players like Shikhar Dhawan, Kane Williamson, Deepak Hooda and Yusuf Pathan in the line-up, Pandey has an opportunity to build the innings around him.

Kane Williamson is likely to partner Dhawan up the order with Manish most likely to bat at no. 3. This will give him enough time to get set before he goes after the bowling. With Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Braithwaite, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammed Nabi and Deepak Hooda in the squad, there are enough big hitters to up the scoring in the death.

Pandey will be eager to score big this IPL as it is a platform for him to cement his place not only in the Indian T20 set up but also the 50-over format especially with the World Cup coming up next year.

He’s been highly unlucky considering he hasn’t been giving an extended run in the Indian team and also the fact that he got injured just before the Champions Trophy in England last year. But his prospects of making the playing XI for the World Cup next year look bright and this IPL would be the start of his journey to stake a claim.

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Akshay
CONTRIBUTOR
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