The last few years have seen Sunrisers Hyderabad boasting of one of the best top-orders in the Indian Premier League. The likes of David Warner, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson give the top-order a formidable look. However, the same cannot be said for the middle-order.

The middle-order has always been an area of concern for the franchise. Not surprisingly, they went all out for Manish Pandey in this year’s auction. Pandey had proved his worth as a reliable middle-order batsman while playing for Kolkata Knight Riders.

The franchise spent a whopping Rs 11 crore to secure the services of the proven match-winner. However, the right-handed batsman has not justified his price tag even after playing 12 games.

IPL 2018: Kane Williamson Comes To Underperforming Manish Pandey's Defence
Credits: BCCI

Before Sunday, he had scored only 184 runs in 11 games. He had the chance to roar back to form on Sunday against Chennai Super Kings. The India star came out to bat in a situation which was tailor-made for him. Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson had added 123 runs for the second wicket and Pandey had four overs to finish off things strongly.

However, he failed once again and departed after scoring just 5. The day only became worse for him as he also dropped MS Dhoni. Sunrisers went on to lose the game by 8 wickets.

But despite Pandey’s constant struggles on the field, Sunrisers skipper Williamson came out in his defence.

“I have mentioned how talented he is. He has come in situations which haven’t been great to bat. There have been partnership(s) or something and he has had to force the issue straightaway and we have also played on very challenging surfaces where he has made some good contributions,” he said after the loss.

IPL 2018: Kane Williamson Comes To Underperforming Manish Pandey's Defence
Credits: BCCI/IPL

The skipper is also hopeful of seeing some good performances from Pandey.

“Manish is a team player and goes out and tries to move his team forward. I think with that attitude we will see some good performances from him. That is the nature of the game — you have good days and bad days but as a team you want to keep it positive and move on together,” Williamson said.