India vs Australia, 1st ODI: MS Dhoni opts for Manish Pandey ahead of Gurkeerat Singh

Pandey is known to play crucial knocks in high-profile IPL and Ranji Trophy matches.

Updated: Jan 12, 2016, 09:17 AM IST
India vs Australia, 1st ODI: MS Dhoni opts for Manish Pandey ahead of Gurkeerat Singh

New Delhi: While it was expected that pacer Barinder Sran was likely to make his debut in the 1st ODI, there was one other spot up for grabs in India's ODI side.

The competition for the number six position was a straight fight between Gurkeerat Singh and Manish Pandey.

In his typical style, Dhoni kept reporters guessing as to who he would eventually pick.

"We have to pick one of the two (Gurkeerat and Manish) to bat at No 6 and we have to see which batsman fits that slot. It is a very difficult position to bat. It will depend on what the top four or five batsmen have done, and according to the need of the game, we'll make a call,” he said.

However, Dhoni and the team management on Tuesday opted for the Karnataka batsman ahead of the Punjab all-rounder.

Pandey made the most of his outing in the warm-up game against Western Australia XI, scoring 58 runs.

The 26-year-old has been in tremendous form for his state in domestic cricket of late.

The right-hander made a mark in the Vijay Hazare Trophy with scores of 79, 1, 94*, 36 and 2.

Pandey is known to play crucial knocks in high-profile IPL and Ranji Trophy matches.

Dhoni and the selectors will be hoping he replicates that at the international stage as well.