If you got to chalk out an Indian Playing XI of all the cricketers who were not given a long rope to prove their worth at the International level, one of the names in that list has got to be Bengal right-handed batsman Manoj Tiwary. A right-handed batsman who has been churning out runs in domestic cricket ever since he made his debut, never really got a consistent chance at the International level in what eventually turned out to be a stop-start career.
The right-hander, who played alongside Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 2017 edition of the Indian Premier League for Rising Pune Supergiant, went unsold in the 2018-19 auctions and was quite vocal about it. But all these disappointments haven’t stopped the Bengal batsman to grit it out in domestic cricket.
The right-hander is currently focussed on spearheading Bengal and not only does he want to score 1000 runs in the ongoing Ranji Trophy but also has plans to play cricket for another ten years.
Manoj Tiwari – An International career which was bereft of opportunities
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m 34 and I plan to play another ten years. I know it’s not going to be easy. If Wasim [Jaffer] bhai can play for so many years if Zaheer Khan can roll his arm at 42 and still get wickets at T10, why can’t I? Michael Jordan, LeBron James, so many other athletes. Nobody will question LeBron James – he’s 34 I guess,” Manoj Tiwary said in an interview to ESPNCricinfo.
“He’s going to continue for another 3-4 years. So that’s how I want to break it down. Three years [at a time], or two. I’m not going to go (out) so easily.” The right-hander added: “I want to score more than 1000 runs this season. That’s my aim. I’m working towards it. Whatever is required to be done, whether it’s physical or planning my innings in a better way.
“I’ve chalked out a few areas where I need to work as far as my technique is concerned. Getting my technique a bit tighter for the Ranji games. Which is always the challenging part when you play shorter formats before the Ranji season, you want to play Ranji in the same flow.”
Tiwary’s International career can be best described as a stop-start affair. After having made his debut in the 2008 CB series, Tiwary had to wait for his turn for three and a half years during the 2011 tour of the West Indies.
His shining moment came during the 5th ODI of the return series against the West Indies later that year where he scored his maiden century – a calm-and-composed 104 not out while coming in at 1-2. Post that hundred, Tiwary didn’t get another chance for the next 14 ODIs, something he still can’t fathom.
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