India cricketer Manish Pandey said on Tuesday, ahead of the fourth One-day International (ODI) against Australia, that he would like to play more games and win matches for India. He further added that there was pressure in the middle-order and he was working hard to try and find a place in the playing XI. The right-handed batsman, who has played 17 ODIs for India, had scored two half-centuries in three innings on his comeback tour of Sri Lanka earlier this month but was not among the runs in the first two ODIs against Australia before making an unbeaten 36 in Indore.
"Definitely, there is pressure in the middle-order. I would like to play more games and win matches for India. I am doing the hard work to try and find a place for me in the playing XI," he said ahead of the fourth ODI against Australia on Thursday.
With his Karnataka teammate KL Rahul warming the bench in this series, Pandey knows he has to keep performing. He played at number four in Chennai and Kolkata before Hardik Pandya's surprise promotion sent him down to number six at Indore.
"It is completely different when you are playing number three, four or six. It is all about the mindset. It is about aggressiveness. I would like to spend more time on the wicket to make myself feel at ease at the crease," he said.
India have already secured the series with a hat-trick of wins but Pandey insisted that Australia remains a tough opposition.
He also reacted to Harbhajan Singh's jibe at the struggling Australians. The off-spinner had urged former Australian captain Michael Clarke to come out of retirement to bail the visitors out, saying the current batsmen lacked quality.
"I think it is his own views about cricket. I think Australia is a fairly good side which boasts of quality batsmen. It is this series where they have lost matches on the trot. Nevertheless, they are a team to beat," said Pandey.
Asked whether the confidence level of the Aussies is down after losing a series of ODIs against India and other teams, Pandey said their middle-order is not clicking.
"I think they are doing really well, but some of the things are not clicking for them. Their top-order is getting runs, but not the middle-order," he said.
On the other hand, India are doing well in all the departments, he added.
(With PTI inputs)