Sri Lanka vs India 2021: Manish Pandey Could Have Finished The Game Off, Says Aakash Chopra
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Sri Lanka vs India 2021: Manish Pandey Could Have Finished The Game Off, Says Aakash Chopra

Manish Pandey is likely to be given another opportunity in the second ODI against Sri Lanka | Photo Credit: AP
Manish Pandey is likely to be given another opportunity in the second ODI against Sri Lanka | Photo Credit: AP

Aakash Chopra has weighed in on Manish Pandey’s selection debate ahead of 2nd ODI between Shikhar Dhawan-led Team India side and hosts Sri Lanka.

Premier batsman Manish Pandey didn’t have the best of the starts in the series opener of the ongoing One Day Internationals (ODI) between India and Sri Lanka at the R.Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Sunday.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Aakash Chopra: Manish Pandey Could Have Finished The 1st ODI Off But Instead He Threw It Away In The End

Manish Pandey, who has been a seasoned campaigner for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has failed to cement his place in the white-ball squad of Team India. In the Sri Lanka series, India is fielding a young promising squad, many expected Manish Pandey to showcase his talent in the absence of regular starters.

Manish Pandey made a cautious start in the 1st ODI of the three-match series against Sri Lanka but the premier batsman failed to accelerate his innings during India’s comfortable chase of 263 at the R.Premadasa Stadium. While Pandey’s critics have cast a doubt over his selection in the upcoming games, former cricketer Aakash Chopra has opted to throw his weight behind the Indian batsman.

Manish Pandey
Manish Pandey BCCI / Sportzpics

The former Team India opener and full-time cricket pundit Aakash Chopra presented his analysis on ESPNCricinfo’s Match Day show in the build-up to the 2nd ODI. Discussing India’s possible playing combination for the series decider, Aakash Chopra highlighted the fact that Manish Pandey should have finished the run chase with Shikhar Dhawan in the 1st ODI on Sunday.

“Manish Pandey could have finished the game off. He just threw it away in the end. But you can’t penalize him for just one bad shot in a game that got over with 15 overs to spare. So, no changes for Team India,” Aakash Chopra said.

Manish Pandey struck a four and six in his sedate knock of 26 against Sri Lanka. Manish Pandey’s 40-ball 26 knock ended in the 31st over as the premier batsman was removed by Dhananjaya de Silva.

Shikhar Dhawan Hits Unbeaten 86 As India Wins The 1st ODI, While India Remain Unchanged In The 2nd ODI

Middle-order batsman Suryakumar Yadav then joined forces with Shikhar Dhawan to help India thrash Sri Lanka by 7 wickets. Shikhar Dhawan (86) and Suryakumar Yadav (31) remained unbeaten to make sure India enter the 2nd ODI with a 1-0 lead on Tuesday at the same venue.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the Sri Lanka tour. (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)
Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the Sri Lanka tour. (Getty Images)(HT_PRINT)

A near-flawless performance in the first ODI saw the Indian cricket team kick off the tour of Sri Lanka with a 7-wicket win in the first ODI. Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, and Suryakumar Yadav shone with the bat while Kuldeep Yadav looked in fine touch with the ball. Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey, however, couldn’t seize the opportunity.

Shikhar Dhawan scored a half-century (86 off 95) in the first ODI while Prithvi Shaw (43 off 24) gave India a blazing start at the top and earned himself the Man of the Match title. Ishan Kishan, coming in to bat at No. 3, started off his innings with a six and scored 59 off 42 before being dismissed by Lakshan Sandakan. Manish Pandey, however, left plenty to desire as he only scored 26 off 40 balls in what was otherwise a free-flowing contest.

Sri Lanka skipper Dasun Shanaka won the toss and elected to bat against India in the second ODI. India is fielding an unchanged playing XI, while pacer Kasun Rajitha comes in for fast bowler Isuru Udana in the Sri Lankan XI.

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