| Manoj Tiwary
Calcutta: Manoj Kumar Tiwary (not Tewari) didn’t watch the entire Australian innings ‘live’ on Saturday night, but there still was much to learn from the champions’ assault in the World Cup final.
“More than the Adam Gilchrist blast, what struck me was the planning — neither Gilchrist nor Matthew Hayden took a chance against the in-form Lasith Malinga, but attacked Chaminda Vaas and Dilhara Fernando… It proved skill alone doesn’t work and you’ve got to use your head,” Tiwary, whose roots are in UP’s Pratapgarh, told The Telegraph.
Speaking after yet another workout at Sporting Union, on Monday evening, the only full-fledged rookie selected for the forthcoming three-match ODI series in Bangladesh added: “Actually, Gilchrist gave a reminder about one of the basics — if the ball is asking to be hit, then you’ve got to give it a whack… Why give it respect' His was such a brilliantly calculated effort…”
If all goes well, Tiwary’s debut will be in the opener itself (Mirpur, on May 10) and, so, D-Day isn’t far off. In other words, there’s little time for the 21-year-old to make his ammo more lethal.
The just-ended World Cup was, of course, an education — it’s another matter that the iconic Sir Viv Richards feels the tournament mirrored the “decline” in standards.
“I’ve now got a better idea of dominating and not allowing the bowlers to get on top… I learnt quite a bit by watching Hayden in the matches leading up to the final… I’ve also understood that most teams are really increasing the pace in the crucial middle overs,” Tiwary, a former India U-19 captain in ODIs, said.
While Sachin Tendulkar’s April 1998 exploits in Sharjah drew him to cricket (soccer got elbowed out), Tiwary’s current “favourite” is the bindaas Kevin Pietersen.
“He plays so freely and has all the shots… He’s mentally very tough as well and doesn’t allow the pressure to sit on him… Watching him is such a pleasure.”
Son of Eastern Railway employee Shyam Sundar and “housewife” Bina, Tiwary is aware of the rising expectations but is intent on not allowing the pressure to overwhelm him.
Sourav Ganguly has been “rested” — Kapil Dev, however, thinks otherwise — but with Tiwary booked on the May 7 flight to Dhaka, Bengal won’t go unrepresented.
“Making the India squad is like passing Class XII… I’ve still got to graduate and, then, do my Master’s… Kafi lamba safar baki hai and I’m ready to work hard.”
Tiwary, incidentally, is a Class X dropout but is looking at options to pursue studies “privately.”
Even if he’s short on formal education, the right-handed Tiwary (he prefers batting at No.4/5) looks an absolute thoroughbred with the bat.
He has truly come a long way from breaking into the Calcutta league as a leggie who could bat.