Manish Pandey’s career hangs by a thread as he fails to make the most of his opportunities in the ODI series against Sri Lanka. The right-hander has been copping a lot of flak for his sluggish strike-rates and his consistency, too, has been the point of much debate. The ODIs versus Sri Lanka were being touted as his last shot at redemption, given the heated competition for slots. However, with scores of 26, 37 and 11, neither of which can be termed a match-defining contribution, it all but seems like the end of the road for Pandey, who only plays the shorter formats.
Pandey hasn’t breached 50 in ODIs since August 2017. His highest score since then has been 42 in 14 innings. India’s middle-order is a congested hub with the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan tussling for space. With Pandey failing to deliver the goods, it’s all the more possible that the selectors might just run out of patience.
He frittered away excellent starts in the first and third ODIs, while rotten luck was to blame for his dismissal in the second ODI as he was run out at the non-striker’s end for no fault of his. Pandey’s candidacy in the T20 format is already under serious threat thanks to the emergence of Yadav and Kishan, two devastating strikers of the cricket ball.
India is slated to play three T20s up next, but it is unlikely that Pandey would get a game, especially after his insipid outings in the ODI leg. And given the fact that India don’t have any ODIs lined up due to the proximity of the T20 World Cup, Pandey is on course to be sidelined from the scheme of things, and it would be really generous on the part of the management if they persist with him in the future.