The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 12 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Inspired by Kallis, Manoj is working on his backlift

Calcutta: The Bengal team will be leaving for Chennai on Tuesday, where they will be participating in the Buchi Babu Invitational Tournament as part of their preparations for the season proper.

Also travelling to Chennai will be Manoj Tiwary. Yes, he is very much a part of Bengal’s plans. But though Manoj wouldn’t say so himself, there’s a wider horizon for him to run for than just the Bengal team.

Manoj’s international career has been porous, with forced breaks due to serious injuries. Whenever the man has shown promise to graduate to the next level, some injury or the other has robbed him of the chance. Fit and fine now, the batsman is aiming for a place in the Indian squad for the 2015 World Cup, to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

He has already began his preparations. Again, he didn’t say so himself, but on Monday, when Manoj revealed that he is working on his backlift, keeping it higher to be precise, one wondered if he was doing so keeping the pacy and bouncy Australian and New Zealand wickets on his mind.

“I have been thinking about it for quite some time… It’s not that someone has advised me about it, I’ve found it out myself by watching my videos. I’m trying to change my backlift, I’m trying to keep my bat higher as that would help me deal with fast bowling better,” Manoj said on the sidelines of Bengal’s indoor practice session at the Eden.

Interestingly, Manoj is picking up the technicalities by watching the videos of successful batsmen. “I have been watching videos of the great batsmen and all of them had higher backlifts… Like Jacques Kallis…

“All successful batsmen must have something in common, I’m trying to find that out. With a higher backlift, my bat will hopefully comedown a lot straighter and it will help my play more shots,” Manoj said.

Manoj confirmed that he will be batting with a higher backlift in the Buchi Babu meet. “This season, we have some time before serious cricket begins… I will check how I fare in Chennai with a higher backlift, then I will decide whether to continue with it.”

But all such adjustments are not being made anticipating a national call-up, clarified Manoj. “I’m not one who thinks about selection… I just know that I have to be ready whenever I get a chance,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bengal chief selector Deep Dasgupta said that the idea will be to forge a proper mix of youth and experience in the Bengal team.

“We have got some impressive young talent and the experienced hands as well. We will try to create a nice mix and give everyone opportunities in the pre-season.”

Apart from working on his own game, Manoj is also ready to help out the juniors in the Bengal team. “This tournament will give opportunities to the youngsters… It is up to them to make proper use of those chances. As a senior, I will always help them with advice whenever and wherever I can," he said.