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We have the upper hand, says Tiwary

Laxmi Ratan Shukla and Sourav Sarkar, who took two wickets each, at the Eden, on Saturday. A Telegraph picture

Calcutta: Manoj Tiwary feels the bowlers have helped Bengal gain the upper hand against Rajasthan on the second day of the four-day Ranji Trophy tie.

“We certainly have the upper hand… Our bowlers bowled a disciplined line and reaped the rewards,” the Bengal captain said after the second day’s play on Saturday.

Does he think that the sprinkling of green on the wicket encouraged the bowlers? “The weather conditions were ideal for swing bowling today. It meant enough motivation for the bowlers. These sort of pitches can help them to get wickets. If we can get them out early…”

He admitted that the wicket did come as a “surprise” to them. “It was surprising to see this sort of a wicket. There was considerable bounce and movement. We are playing with three pacers and this sort of pace-oriented wicket is an advantage for us,” Tiwary explained.

He felt Bengal are in with a chance, having reduced Rajasthan to 63 for four at close on the rain-interrupted day. “If the bowlers can continue bowling a disciplined spell then…”

Terming Laxmi Ratan Shukla, who took three wickets, as an “asset”, Tiwary didn’t wish to read too much into Ashok Dinda going wicket-less.

“Shukla is an experienced player and is a great asset… Dinda also bowled in the right areas and had a good spell,” he said.

Sourav Sarkar provided early breakthrough in the Rajasthan innings, removing Vineet Saxena and captain Hrishikesh Kanitkar. Shukla then dismissed Akhil Lamba and Robin Bisht.

Tiwary didn’t wish to read too much into the Bengal batting collapse that saw the hosts being bundled out for 258 in the morning session.

“We’ve got to admit that they bowled well in these overcast conditions. It was a very good show from a side who have been the champions over the last two years.”

He didn’t hide his disappointment at having been dismissed for 42 on the opening day.

“I was obviously disappointed… But there’s no point talking about it. These things happen and you’ve got to accept it.”

Tiwary said that his innings of 93 for India A against England has given him lot of confidence.

“It was a quality and disciplined attack…Scoring runs against such attacks also enhances your confidence.”

He felt that England will find the going tough in Indian conditions.

“It will all depend on how the England batsmen perform in these conditions. Things will, no doubt, be tough for them.

“I don’t know how their lone quality spinner, Graeme Swann, will perform.”