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Reuniting with Kallis helped me: Manish

Calcutta: Having played a crucial role in Kolkata Knight Riders’ stunning victory over defending champions Mumbai Indians, Manish Pandey feels reuniting with Jacques Kallis helped him rediscover his lost form.

The youngster had previously played with Kallis for Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Pandey (64) and Man of the Match Kallis (72) laid the foundation for KKR’s 163-run total, which helped them clinch a 41-run win in Abu Dhabi. The pair added 131 runs in a second wicket stand.

“When I went out there to bat, I remembered the old times when I batted with him and I realised nothing had changed. It was exactly the same batting with Jacques again and I could feel that same comfort level. We had a lot of partnerships together for RCB and we know each other’s game well. We kept talking throughout our time together in the middle,” Pandey said.

“The best thing about the partnership was the communication. Right from the very beginning, we decided that we needed to stay put and build a good partnership because it wasn’t easy to bat on this wicket initially. So, the plan was cut out very clearly and we executed it well,” he told IPL’s official website.

Reflecting on his IPL career so far, Pandey conceded that he lost his way after becoming the first Indian to score a hundred in the tournament in 2009. “I think I was a bit off the radar. I wasn’t consistent. I was doing well at the domestic level, in first-class cricket, but I couldn’t bring that in the IPL.”

“Although I played a couple of decent knocks for the Pune franchise, I knew that as a top-order batsman, I had to start converting the starts into big scores consistently. I am glad I have started this tournament with a good knock and I hope to be consistent now,” he said.

Asked if that memorable hundred put him under pressure, Pandey said: “It wasn’t the case of putting pressure on myself, to be honest. I think I wasn’t playing the game I did in the first couple of IPL seasons. I believe I should have put in a little bit more effort,” he said.