Manish Pandey is one of the best fielders to emerge in India. He has pulled off some stunning catches in the domestic circuit but is often overshadowed by the likes of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya and others at the International level. However, during the 3rd ODI against Australia on Sunday at Indore’s Holkar Stadium, Pandey finally had his moment under the spotlight when he pulled off a stunning catch near the boundary rope to dismiss Aussie wicketkeeper Peter Handscomb.
Australia were cruising along at one stage with 224/1 after 37.4 overs but lost their way in the last few overs. With Marcus Stoinis and Peter Handscomb at the crease, the Aussies were hoping to recover and put up a solid score but Pandey’s catch on the last ball of the 48th over didn’t let that happen. Handcomb smashed Bumrah and connected well to clear the boundary but Pandey timed his jump to perfection and latched onto a fabulous catch. But at the second, he lost balance and sensing that he might fall over the line, threw the ball in the air and stepped over the boundary to immediately come back onto the field and grab the ball.
Pandey’s fantastic catch, which is a testament to his quick thinking and presence of mind in the field, is one of few such instances that show how good India’s fielding is.
Meanwhile, during the first ODI, it was the Australian Glenn Maxwell who set the ball rolling in terms of taking stunning catches. Fielding at backward point, Maxwell reflected swiftly to take a blinder to dismiss Virat Kohli for a duck off the bowling off Nathan Coulter-Nile. Both Pandey and Maxwell epitomise the importance of good fielding in cricket, and there is every likelihood that both might add to their tally in the coming matches. Earlier, a rollicking all-around performance by the Indian team helped them clinch the five-match ODI series 3-0 against Australia on Sunday.