IPL 2021 RCB vs SRH: End of the road for Manish Pandey? SRH batsman and Kuldeep Yadav face uncertain future

The Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 season is almost coming to a close with Sunrisers Hyderabad already out of race for a Playoffs berth. SRH is getting ready to play their penultimate match against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday (October 6).

The T20 World Cup 2021 will get underway in UAE almost as soon as the IPL 2021 gets over on October 18. A couple of Team India players, including SRH batsman Manish Pandey, face an uncertain future when it comes to their international career. Apart from Pandey, Kolkata Knight Riders chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is another player struggling with injury and unlikely to feature in Team India line-up anytime soon.

Here’s a look at the two players…

Manish Pandey

The Karnataka and SRH middle-order batsman has struggled to convert his fine starts in IPL 2021 and international cricket as well. Pandey has managed 223 runs this season with two half-centuries but has only featured in 7 games for SRH. His modest strike-rate of 114.35 is the biggest reason for this, although SRH skipper Kane Williamson isn’t doing too much better at 114.07.

It is the inability of the SRH batsmen to force the pace which has resulted in the former champions being relegated to the bottom of the points table with just one win to their name so far.

Pandey has a fantastic record in international T20 with 709 runs in 39 games at an average of 44.31 and strike-rate of 126.15. However, Pandey’s inconsistency in IPL has meant that the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav have left him behind with Shreyas Iyer also ahead of him in the pecking order.

With so much jostling for the middle-order berth, it seems unlikely that Pandey will be back in Indian colours anytime soon.

Kuldeep Yadav

The prolific chinaman bowler from Uttar Pradesh and Kolkata Knight Riders has just trailed off since a disappointing campaign in 2019 50-over World Cup. Yadav’s confidence took a big dent when he was taken to cleaners by most batsmen in 2019 IPL.

Since that World Cup, he has featured in 14 of India’s 21 ODIs, five of their 30 T20Is and just one of their 22 Tests, and has found himself demoted from Grade A to Grade C in the BCCI’s contracts list.

Kuldeep only played five games during IPL 2020, and did not play a single match in IPL 2021. Now, the chinaman bowler has returned back to India and got his knee operated after an injury. It is unlikely that Yadav will be able to play active cricket for the next 6 to 8 months.

Yadav is only 26 years of age and only time will tell if the KKR spinner can make a comeback into the Indian team.

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Sagar Biswas

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