Calcutta: When the situation demanded, the leader in Manoj Tiwary stood up to deliver.
Bengal were in trouble at 19 for two in pursuit of Gujarat’s 260. And Tiwary chose the occasion as the perfect stage to produce a true captain’s knock.
The job, though, is still far from over as Tiwary reminded.
“Of course, we were under a bit of pressure when I arrived at the crease. However, the challenge lies in taking the pressure in your stride and performing, despite all the odds. Honestly, I do enjoy batting under pressure.
“Without doubt, Gujarat’s bowling is inexperienced. But at the same time, I had to cash in on this inexperience and use it to my advantage. I have been benefited as of now,” he said after his unbeaten 102, at the Eden, on Sunday, with Bengal just 40 runs shy of Gujarat’s total.
Tiwary didn’t quite get off to his usual aggressive start, having adopted a cautious approach besides keeping in mind Bengal’s long tail.
“I had to be aware of our tail, which is a tad longer. But on the other side, being patient helped me as my innings progressed,” he pointed out.
Although the hosts have an upper hand over Gujarat, Tiwary stressed that securing the first innings lead would be the primary focus of his team when they resume on Day Three.
“Taking the (first innings) lead and ensuring three points is our first priority. We can then start thinking of an outright win.
“The pitch is already beginning to get unevenů So, our focus will be on putting as many runs as possible on the board and that too, quickly since light towards the close of play becomes an issue here,” he said.
Openers Parthasarathi Bhattacharjee and Sreevats Goswami were far from good in this game. But fortunately for them, they still have their captain’s backing for the moment.
“Both the players went into this match, scoring plenty of runs in club cricket. So, I feel they deserve more opportunities,” Tiwary signed off.
Tiwary feels that his form wasn’t much of a concern though he had scored a total of just 98 runs from his previous four innings.
“I had made 90-odd runs against England in Mumbai, which wasn’t many days ago.
“If people still go on to raise questions about my form, I really have nothing to say then. As I had stated earlier, all I need is to convert the good starts.
“That finally happened. Anyhow, it would (happen), as it was just a matter of time before I got a big score,” he explained.