New Delhi: His debut match against Zimbabwe had given Manish Pandey confidence that he belongs to this level and the talented Karnataka right-hander wants to make every opportunity count in the upcoming ODI series against Australia in order to make it to the World T20 team.
"Obviously, it is a dream of any cricketer to play in the World Cup. I want to use every opportunity that I get and make a case for myself for selection in the Indian team for the World T20. I have had a decent record in the IPL," Pandey said during an interaction after he replaced Suresh Raina in the Indian team for the five-match ODI series Down Under.
For Pandey, who loves to play the hook and pull shots, the Australian pitches are welcome. Also the fact that he has played a number of times for India A in Australia will be an advantage.
"I think my previous tours to Australia will be very helpful as I have an idea about the wickets and the conditions. Also when India A went to Australia for a limited overs competition, we won the tournament. I also had a good tournament. I love playing on the bouncy pitches," 26-year-old Bangalorean said.
The national call-up also somewhat had a soothing effect as the formidable Karnataka side has failed to make it to the knock-out rounds of both Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare trophy.
"I was a bit hurt as we were two-time champions in both Ranji Trophy and Vijay Hazare Trophy. So there was a bit of disappointment but this news of making it to the Indian team makes me feel a bit happy," the 'veteran' of 75 first-class matches said.
Pandey scored 71 on his ODI debut against Zimbabwe and he terms it as a confidence booster for him.
"Zimbabwe tour went well for me, I had a good performance on my debut. So the expectation that I would be in the mix was always there. If you do well in an international match, it always adds to the confidence. I never looked at it as a stop gap opportunities. It never crossed my mind that whether I will get an opportunity when the rested players come back," he added.
The first Indian player to hit an IPL century (back in 2009 for RCB) feels that he understands his game much better now than earlier times.
"There isn't any particular person that I look for guidance. I generally speak to seniors but after all these years, I have an idea about my own game. I know my strengths better and how to cope in different situations," concluded Pandey.