Zimbabwe tour a chance to cement spot in India’s playing XI: Manish Pandey

Mumbai : Indian batsman Manish Pandey is hoping to perform at his absolute best in the forthcoming limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in order to become a regular face in the playing XI.

India will play the first game of the three-match ODI series against Zimbabwe at the Harare Sports Club, a place where the 26-year-old made his promising debut last year.

Batting at No. 5 in the third ODI match in July last year, Manish struck a 71-run knock and shared a huge 144-run partnership with centurion Kedar Jadhav to complete a 3-0 series whitewash against Zimbabwe.

Talking about his return to Harare, Pandey admitted that it would be a fresh start for him, adding that he was fully geared up to go on to the field and contribute with ball.

“My goal is to keep performing and make sure that I fit into that Indian XI and become a permanent member of the squad. My goal for the next couple of years is to be a part of the Indian team and to win games for India. I am working hard towards that and I want to achieve that,” Pandey was quoted as saying by BCCI.

Despite appearing in only four ODIs so far, Manish has given a great indication of his rich talent and the ability to bat under pressure at various occasions, including scoring an unbeaten 104-run knock while chasing a daunting 332-run target with two balls to spare.

Reflecting on the same, Pandey said, “It was a crucial innings (against Zimbabwe) for me and the team. I got the opportunity and I did justice to that. It was a good start and the right booster for me. Some time has passed since that game in Australia (January), but the memories and images of that game will stay with me. It is always good to have some confidence behind you.”

The Indian squad touring Zimbabwe are mostly youngsters, including five uncapped player, and is led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni. (ANI)