India beat New Zealand by 7 runs in the fifth and final T20I to register a memorable 5-0 whitewash over the hosts. The Men in Blue became the first side in the world to whitewash an opponent in a five-match T20I series. The Kiwis were cruising at one stage but similar to the previous two games they threw away the match they had almost won.
There were positives galore for the Indian team as the bowlers delivered in crunch situations. Young guns like KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey rose to the occasion when the team needed them. One of the biggest takeaway from the series is Manish Pandey's role as a finisher.
The right-hander flourished in the finisher's role as he hit a match-winning fifty in the fourth T20I. Besides that, he didn’t get much time to spend in the middle but he contributed in every possible manner. The ability to grab every single opportunity is what sets Pandey apart and experts were generous with their words.
Former India greats Zaheer Khan and Ajay Jadeja lauded Manish Pandey’s brilliance. While speaking to a leading cricket website, Khan said that Manish Pandey understood match situations really well. Zaheer Khan also added that he was aware of his own strengths and weaknesses.
However, Ajay Jadeja went a step further and compared Manish Pandey to MS Dhoni. MS Dhoni, who was last seen in the international circuit during the World Cup, is one of the finest finishers cricket has ever seen. Pandey is earning a reputation of his own by trying to close tough games.
Speaking about Manish Pandey, Ajay Jadeja said he had hardly seen him get out from the 18th over. He added that if MS Dhoni is the Mercedes-version, he is the Alto-version. He might not have the same horsepower but has the same playing style as MS Dhoni.