Batsman Pandey relishes long-awaited India call-up

Mumbai, July 2 (IANS) After getting a sudden call-up for the upcoming limited overs series against Zimbabwe, India batsman Manish Pandey says he is aiming at cementing his place in the side for a long time with a good series.

With several senior players rested, Pandey was named in India’s 15-man squad for the upcoming tour of Zimbabwe under newly-appointed skipper Ajinkya Rahane.

It wasn’t his first India call-up. Last year, after playing a sterling role in Kolkata Knight Riders’ IPL triumph, Pandey was included in the squad for a one-off Twenty20 International against the West Indies. However, that series was aborted mid-way and Pandey’s wait for an India cap was extended.

“It is a matter of time, there is a lot of competition. You have to wait for your chances, mine is coming a little later than I was expecting, but it is okay. My goal is to be in the Indian side for a long time,” Pandey was quoted as saying by espncricinfo on Wednesday.

“All three formats of the game are really important to me. It would be very nice to get the cap in all formats and hope for the best.”

The squad chosen for the Zimbabwe tour includes batsmen on the fringes of the One-Day International (ODI) squad such as Manoj Tiwary, Kedar Jadhav, Robin Uthappa and Murali Vijay.

Pandey, 25, accepted that he was in this cluster of players competing for places when a full-strength squad is next chosen.

“There is always competition, that’s the beauty of the game. It is my first experience, I will be waiting to play some games for the country and try and make my mark there. If I am able to do that, I will be happy. That is what I should be focusing more on,” the Karnataka right-hander said.


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