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India vs Australia: Manish Pandey Feeling the Pressure as Competition for Middle-Order Slots Heats Up

PTI | Updated: September 26, 2017, 7:02 PM IST
India vs Australia: Manish Pandey Feeling the Pressure as Competition for Middle-Order Slots Heats Up

Manish Pandey in action. (Getty Images)

Bengaluru: Manish Pandey is feeling the pressure of holding on to his spot in the Indian ODI team and says the only way he can beat stiff competition is by scoring tons of runs.

"Definitely, there is pressure in the middle order. I would like to play more games and win matches for India. I am doing the hard work to try and find a place for me in the playing eleven," he said ahead of the fourth ODI against Australia on Thursday.

Pandey, who scored two half centuries in three innings on his comeback tour of Sri Lanka earlier this month, was not among the runs in the first two ODIs against Australia before making an unbeaten 36 in Indore.

With his Karnataka teammate K L Rahul warming the bench in this series, Pandey knows he has to keep performing. He played at number four in Chennai and Kolkata before Hardik Pandya's surprise promotion brought him down to number six in Indore.

"It is completely different when you are playing number three, four or six. It is all about the mindset. It is about aggressiveness. I would like to spend more time on the wicket to make myself feel at ease at the crease," he said.

India have already secured the series with a hat-trick of wins but Pandey insisted that Australia remains a tough opposition.

He also reacted to Harbhajan Singh's jibe at the struggling Australians. The off-spinner had urged Michael Clarke to come out of retirement to bail the visitors out, saying the current batsmen lack quality.

"I think it is his own views about cricket. I think Australia is a fairly good side which boasts of quality batsmen. It is this series where they have lost matches on the trot. Nevertheless, they are a team to beat," said Pandey.

Asked whether the confidence level of the Aussies is down after losing a series of ODIs against India and other teams, Pandey said their middle-order is not clicking.

"I think they are doing really well, but some of the things are not clicking for them. Their top order is getting runs, but not the middle order," he said.

On the other hand, India are doing well in all the departments, he said
First Published: September 26, 2017, 7:00 PM IST

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