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‘I play to make a point to myself’

Calcutta: Manoj Tiwary says he took a leaf out of Shane Warne’s book. Or rather, the legendary leg-spinner’s advice to Michael Clarke in November.

After his double century in Brisbane against South Africa, Clarke thanked Warne saying, “One of the things Warney’s taught me over the years is the better the bowling, the more positive you’ve got to be and that was certainly my intent from the first ball...”

Recalling the incident, Tiwary told The Telegraph: “Once I read about it, those words became a big source of inspiration…

“I always remember that piece of advice… I’ve always made it a point to stay positive come what may… I took a clue from there and never looked back.”

On Sunday in Chennai, Tiwary scored 129 off 187 balls with 18 boundaries and three sixes for India A against the visiting Australians.

Would he consider this knock to be a timely reminder to the national selectors?

“I always play to make a point to myself. This century has boosted my confidence… It reminded myself that I am good enough to play at the highest level… I played to my potential and did my best.

“This innings has given me lot of happiness and satisfaction. Australia are one of the top sides in international cricket and that is reason enough to be happy.

“It boosts your self confidence and make you believe that you can dominate international cricket,” he said.

A delayed start on the second day meant Tiwary, who was unbeaten on 77 overnight, had to wait longer to get going.

“I initially prayed for the match to start quickly… Eventually God helped me… The new ball was taken soon and I countered the challenge without trouble.

“I batted confidently… I hit a six off Xavier Doherty to reach my hundred.

“It was a comfortable wicket to bat on, because it's on the slower side… The ball is not going off the wicket for the spinners. Only a bit of turn is there. So you have to keep bowling in the right areas to test the patience of the batsmen. Eventually, the batsman will have to make mistakes."

Tiwary had missed out on a century by seven runs when he played against England in a warm-up game for India A last year.

How does he assess the Australian attack? “To be honest the pitch was on the slower side and I guess they will face more of these conditions here. Their fast bowlers didn’t get much help. They tried to get reverse swing going, but that also didn’t happen much.

“Then they tried to hit the pads. It will be difficult for all their bowlers on these wickets. Their spinners didn’t look dangerous.”

In reply to India A’s 451, the Australians were 131 for four at close on the penultimate day losing all four batsmen to the spinners Rakesh Dhurv and Jalaj Saxena.

“It’s going to be difficult for them. They weren’t good against the spinners.

“If they play like this, they will find the going tough… They were not sure of their defence to be honest,” Tiwary said.

How does he plan to celebrate? “Everybody was happy for me… I didn’t celebrate it that excitedly though…”

Does he wish to dedicate this innings to anyone in particular?

“I wish to dedicate to all who love my game, who have supported me right through and my family… Also to my fans and friends in the social network.”

Having missed the recently-concluded series against Pakistan due to an injury, Tiwary said it does get frustrating at times.

“It does get frustrating, but you have to move on. The timing of the injury wasn’t right for me, because I knew I would have played...

“Knowing that, and getting injured, makes you feel bad. But I have moved on. There’s no point thinking about injuries.”