Discarded India batter Manish Pandey has said that Sanju Samson was in better batting form, and it was justified that he played ahead of him after the Indian team management moved on from the Karnataka batter after 2021.
Manish Pandey showcased a lot of potential right from his U19 days and was the first and youngest Indian to score a century in the Indian Premier League, which came in 2009 in South Africa. Pandey had been part of the Indian white-ball squads from 2016-2021 and managed to play 29 ODIs and 39 T20Is.
His career for India didn’t take off for the talent he possessed as probably he batted out of position and was in and out of the team a lot.
“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 told Sportskeeda.
He last played a T20I on Australia tour in 2020 and his last ODI came on the Sri Lanka tour in 2021. The talented batter made 566 runs in 29 ODIs with one century and 2 fifties and in 39 T20Is, he made 709 runs with 3 half-centuries at a strike rate of 126.15.
After him, India began to focus on the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, and Shreyas Iyer in the middle order, as they could bat at a better strike rate and could hit the big shots when needed to up the run rate.
Pandey said he obviously would have preferred a longer run at a higher number but he knew the likes of Samson needed to be tried out.
"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 added.
Manish Pandey will be hoping for a new home in IPL 2023.