The supremely talented Manish Pandey has been performing well for Team India from the past many days. His growth as an aggressive middle-order batsman and an athletic fielder impresses one to all. He will always be remembered as the first Indian to score a century in the Indian Premier League (IPL). The brilliant knock (114) came in the second edition of the cash-rich league on May 21 at Centurion against Deccan Chargers.
Six years after that smash-mouth IPL hundred, Pandey got the opportunity to don the blue jersey as he made his international debut in 2015 at Harare. However, the innings which brought the global limelight came six months later when he scored an unbeaten maiden ODI century at Sydney and won the contest for his team against mighty Australia.
Recently, the 30-year-old featured in a candid interview for ‘Spicy Pitch’ where Pandey talked about several aspects of the game and shed lights on his personal life as well. During the chat, he revealed the name of one cricketer he looked up to when he was a kid.
Pandey took the name of Indian legend Rahul Dravid and said he was always a big admirer of the great cricketer. Pandey recalled those days when he shared the change room with Dravid in the domestic circuit and stated how he will always value those memories.
“When I was a kid, one cricketer that I looked up to was Rahul Dravid. I was always a big fan of him. The way he was disciplined towards his game and life, I thought it was really good. And a time when I came here (Bangalore), and I played with him in the Ranji Trophy first and then for RCB for a year, it was a great experience and to share a story with that kind of a legend of the game,” said Pandey.
“Especially when I was playing U-19, I used to love watching him bat. He used to stand in first slip and when I started coming in the side and a couple of games later, I started standing at second slip, and then I would look at him and the bowler. That feeling was really surreal and its something that I still cherish,” he added.
Pandey also disclosed a story when he was struggling to score runs in the Ranji Trophy and how the advice of Dravid worked like magic for him.
“I was not getting runs in a couple of matches, and then I just went up to him and said ‘Rahul bhai, this is what’s happening’. He just said ‘just play how you normally played your game in U19 cricket, don’t try to change your game. The way you’ve batted in U19, the way you’ve played your U22. Don’t try to be over defensive, don’t try to play over flamboyant just continue the way you’ve been playing and you’ll get runs’. Then I got a hundred against UP, and he was there batting with me, he also got a ton in that game. I expressed thanks to him, and from then on, I think I’ve not really changed my game,” concluded the Nainital-born.