Batsman Manish Pandey is comfortable arriving at sixth position in the order, despite a preference for third or fourth.
Pandey has been deployed at sixth throughout India‘s ongoing T20I series against New Zealand. He struck a match-winning 50 not out in the fourth match at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
“I have to start preparing my mind as a number six batsman because normally I bat up the order, number three or four. Here with the competition up top, you just have to wait for your chances, exactly how it used to happen before this,” said Pandey.
“There were hardly six or 10 balls that I would play before. This was the opportunity, and I've been preparing myself as to how to bat number six and what kind of shots I can play, what kind of bowlers, and how many overs are left. You've got to start preparing when you're sitting outside. You need to calculate.
“It's not an easy position to bat at number six, where you know you're the last main batsman and you have to play with the bowlers if anything happens up top. That's what happened here. I was pretty clear about my role. I thought I'll probably be there at the crease by the end of the 20th over, and I thought I did that pretty well, and I'm happy with that.
“I start thinking about percentage cricket. I have to curb down on my shots a little bit. I can't be very expressive as soon as I go in, even if the wicket is really flat. But I just have to play those twos, look to rotate the strike. I've been working on that and today I thought it came off really well. These are small things that I've to work on.
Pandey in the IPL
Pandey will play for the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League later this year. He will likely bat in third position, ahead of middle-order batsmen such as New Zealand's Kane Williamson, Australia's Mitchell Marsh and England's Jonny Bairstow. All three will represent the Sunrisers this year, who have also retained Australian opening batsman David Warner.
“I would still bat number three when I go back to the IPL. It gives me more of an opportunity and more chance to spend time on the wicket. It gives me little more extra time when I bat, with the way I bat,” concluded Pandey.