The first Indian batsman to hit a century in IPL, Manish Pandey is one of the most stylish yet unorthodox batsmen going around in the circuit currently. Although the Karnataka batsman hasn’t got many opportunities at the international level, he has been a regular face in the limited overs side for the last 4-5 years.
Manish Pandey truly arrived on the world stage when as a teenager he took the RCB side to the knockouts with a blistering 114 run knock off just 73 deliveries. The IPL was for the first time happening outside the country in the rainbow nation of South Africa and Manish Pandey forever etched his name in the record books by becoming the first Indian to hit a century in the lucrative league.
Manish Pandey rose from humble beginnings after playing for Mysore in state-level tournaments. Owning to his impressive performances, Pandey was scouted to play for the India Under-19 team in 2008 under Virat Kohli. The team emerged victorious but Pandey remained in the shadows as he did not have the performance to back his exceptional batting skills.
Being a part of a World Cup winning team meant that an IPL contract was imminent and Pandey signed up for Mumbai Indians. However, with stars like Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya in the team, Manish Pandey did not get much opportunities and a year later he moved to his home side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Pandey has since been a vital cog for the Karnataka domestic side ever since. He had a breakthrough Ranji season in 2009-10 with 882 runs, ending up as the highest run-getter including four 100s and five 50s at an average of 63, showcasing his consistency and appetite for runs.
In 89 First-class matches, Pandey has score 6293 runs with an impressive average of 52.00, which includes 19 hundreds and 29 half-centuries.
Manish Pandey after winning the U-19 World Cup in 2008 was quickly drafted to a star-studded Mumbai Indians side. He didn't get much opportunities there and moved to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) side where he had a breakout year. In the rainbow nation of South Africa during the second edition of IPL, Pandey became the first Indian to hit a century.
He was retained by the franchise for the third season of IPL but was released in the next season after he failed to turn out any performances of note.
The now defunct side of Pune Warriors India then snapped Manish Pandey in the auctions but the poor franchise did not help Pandey's fortunes as he spent three rather quiet years in the camp.
Pandey was given a new elixir of life in 2014 when he was picked up by Kolkata Knight Riders. The Karnataka batsman always had the penchant for scoring on the biggest stage and he came up with a tournament winning performance for KKR in the finals where he scored a magnificent 94-runs inning and overshadowed Wriddhiman Saha's hundred to catapult KKR to a second IPL trophy.
But then came another slump in his form and he was released by KKR. Immediately after his ouster, Pandey was picked by Sunrisers Hyderabad and has been going really solid with the team ever since.
In July 2015, six years after that smash-mouth IPL hundred in Centurion, Pandey made his international debut in Harare. He grabbed his opportunity with both hands, scoring 71 in his maiden innings. But the inning that brought him the most favour was a century against Australia in Sydney in 2016.
India were reeling in the pursuit of chasing 331 and Manish Pandey walked in and stroked a breezy unbeaten 104 run inning and took the team to the victory shores. His inning brought him a lot of spotlight and he was dubbed as India's answer for the number 4 conundrum.
However, Pandey was hard done by the selectors when he was left out of the 2019 World Cup team.
After making an ODI debut in Zimbabwe, Pandey on the same tour made his T20I debut. He was selected as a replacement of Yuvraj Singh in 2016 T20 World Cup in India. Pandey played the semi-final but did not get the opportunity to bat as MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli put on a show and piled 191 runs against West Indies. However, Andre Russell's exploits ensured that India had to return from the tournament empty-handed and thus Pandey was denied to don the blue jersey in an ICC tournament for India.
Manish Pandey was born to G.S Pandey and Tara Pandey in 1989 in Nainital, Uttrakhand. His father was an armyman and if Pandey had not excelled in IPL by hitting the first century, he was all set to join the Army. Pandey married actress Ashrita Shetty on 2 December 2019 in Mumbai.