Ahead of the five-match unofficial ODI series against South Africa A, Manish Pandey has said that it would be a great platform to make his case for a concrete spot in the senior team. Pandey, who is all set to captain the India A team in the first three games, could not produce any brilliance with the bat during India’s limited-overs series against the West Indies, earlier this month.

“It is a very good platform for all of us to perform and make our name permanent in India (cricket team),” Pandey said during the pre-match press conference at the Greenfield International Stadium, which is the venue for the first unofficial ODI, in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Speaking about India’s continued middle-order woes, he said that he would be keen to prove himself for the position.

He added, “India is going through a change where they are looking and trying for different batsmen in the middle order. Obviously, I have to be patient for my chances. Whenever I get it, I make sure that I grab them with both of my hands.”

The problem surrounding the middle-order has been going for more than two years now. The team have failed to come up with consistent names for the number four and five positions. The World Cup saw Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant batting at four, while Kedar Jadhav tried his luck at five.

However, that did not work as India went with Shreyas Iyer and Pandey for the West Indies tour afterwards. Iyer seemed to be a cut above the rest as he scored some vital runs at four. But with Pandey failing to replicate Iyer at fifth, India’s middle-order problem is far from solved.

Meanwhile, Pandey sounded positive about his team and praised the players for their consistency over the years and stressed on the fact that the national team would be hovering around everyone’s mind. He said, “Great bunch of guys, India A, I think we have been doing really well from the past 3-4 years. I think it will be important for us to win the series and get some performances and try to go in the national team.”