'Just the kind of knock for career to take off'

 One of the features of Tuesday, apart from his dashing strokeplay, was the equanimity Manish Pandey showed after bringing up his maiden first-class hundred.
The 20-year-old tore the Uttar Pradesh attack apart on his way to an unbeaten 194 in only his sixth Ranji Trophy tie, then said the confidence accrued from good outings in IPL II in South Africa, in the KPL and in the Champions League had stood him in excellent stead.

“My confidence was really high coming into this season,” the right-handed batsman said. “Obviously, T20 and 50-over games are different compared to the longer version. You need to be more patient here because you have more time but yes, my performances in T20 and 50-over cricket came as a booster.” Pandey also spoke of the significance of the timing of the knock. “This is the first day of the Ranji season,” he pointed out.

“Last year was not great for me, I had just two half-centuries though I did well in the one-dayers and the IPL. This is just the kind of knock you need for your career to take off. It is my first first-class hundred, I really feel good about it.”
Pandey’s partner during a 273-run fourth-wicket association was his skipper, Rahul Dravid. “Rahul was a source of great support,” he acknowledged. “We made a plan, he told me to stick to the basics, to understand the wicket and play each ball on its merit. Everything worked out just fine.”

It was a shame that Dravid was run out three short of a hundred. “It was a crucial moment, and there was further responsibility on me. I just settled down once again to play long,” Pandey reflected. But was he shaken up after the Dravid mix-up? “It didn’t really affect me,” he replied, in complete control of himself. “It’s a part of the game, you can’t do much about it.”

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