It took one spectacular innings to thrust Manish Pandey into the limelight. A flamboyant right-hand top-order batsman, Pandey scored an unbeaten 114 for the Royal Challengers Bangalore against the Deccan Chargers in IPL 2009. He became the first Indian to score a ton in the IPL. Since then, Pandey has been one of the most consistent run-getters in Indian domestic cricket. He is a naturally gifted batsman and while his batting is more about timing and picking out gaps, he can also hit big sixes if needed. After turning out for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the first three seasons of the IPL, Pandey was signed by the Pune Warriors prior to IPL 2011 and continued his stint with the team even in IPL 2013 before being purchased by the Kolkata Knight Riders at the IPL Player Auction 2014. He continues to be one of the vital members of the KKR line-up with a lot more experience under his belt. The Karnataka batsman earned his maiden India cap in 2015 and most recently scored a match-winning ODI century against Australia in the CB series in Australia in 2016 which was a hint of his maturity.
Manish Pandey will always be remembered as the first Indian to score a century in the IPL. In one night, the 19-year-old went from being Karnataka’s next big Ranji hope to entering the record books as he hit his way to the highest Twenty20 score by an Indian. That century also meant he would not have to carry out his intention of following his father into the army if he did not make it as a professional cricketer.
But his barnstorming start did not immediately translate into an India call-up and Pandey continued to work his way up in the domestic circuit. His growth as an aggressive middle-order batsman and an athletic fielder coincided with Karnataka’s rise as undisputed leaders of the domestic arena in a period that saw them complete the double treble. In July 2015, six years after that smash-mouth IPL hundred in Centurion, Pandey made his international debut in Harare.
Pandey’s breakout international innings, however, came six months later in Sydney. In January 2016, his unbeaten maiden ODI century helped India gun down Australia’s 330 with two balls to spare and prevent a whitewash. While Pandey was not included in any of the T20 competitions India played in the lead-up to the World T20, he was brought in to replace an injured Yuvraj Singh in the semi-final against West Indies, where Pandey did not bat.
Indian Premier League 2016