It has been two years since Manoj Tiwary last played for India. He was selected for the tour to Zimbabwe, where Ajikya Rahane led the team. A failure in coming up with a performance with the bat saw him not making full use of the opportunity and since then, he is waiting for an international call-up.
(Read Here: India Squad For Sri Lanka Test Series)
Since he has been dropped from the national side, Manoj has done well in domestic cricket, especially in 2016/17 season where apart from showing his ability with the bat, the Bengal skipper has shown his prowess in the field of captaincy as well.
He led Bengal to the final of Vijay Hazare Trophy, led East Zone to triumph in the inaugural edition of Internal Mushtaq Ali Trophy and Bengal Ranji side also did well under him. All in all, the domestic season was the best one for him and then came the IPL, where Manoj Tiwary represented Rising Pune Supergiant.
He went past every other member of his side and was the star of his team. Whenever in difficulty, Tiwary was the man who would come and rescue the team. He played a crucial role in Pune qualifying for the final of the tournament and showed every franchise that not picking him previous year’s auction was a big mistake.
Despite all going his way in past one year, Manoj still could not find a place in the India A squad for the tour of South Africa. Probably, the selectors are looking beyond him. The team contains a whole lot of youngsters and seniors have hardly got a place in the side.
Still, Manoj Tiwary is still hopeful of a national comeback. In an interview with Hindustan Times, Manoj Tiwary opened up about his hopes of making a comeback, performance in IPL and dream of playing Test cricket. Here are the excerpts from the interview –
On IPL 2017
Yes, IPL 2017 went really well. Let me first take this opportunity to thank Mr Goenka and the RPS team management for showing faith in me and my cricketing abilities. Without their support, I wouldn’t have been able to showcase my worth as a player. The adaptation was the key for my performance last year because I had a difficult role to play in the team.
On 2016/17 Ranji season
I believe I had a good season last year in Ranji trophy, in fact across all formats, considering the fact Bengal played most of its games in the North Zone venues where conditions are tough for the batters. And not to forget we didn’t play a game against Gujarat due to smog in Delhi, which in a way hampered our chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.
On hopes of playing Test cricket
Yes, I believe I will make it to the Test team in future. I’ve full faith in my ability and my game. Also, I have been playing first-class cricket for quite some time and the statistics are there to prove it. I don’t see any of them (Nair, Herwadkar, Iyer and Panchal) as competition. I would love to keep performing and help my team reach heights across all formats. The rest, I leave it to destiny.
On IPL 2018
I feel good about IPL 2018 because I’m looking forward to it. Auction is such a special occasion for everyone. There is so much unpredictability in it and that makes it special.
On MS Dhoni
I would say he still has a lot left in him. And knowing him, he will retire on his terms and in his own way. For example, we have seen how he retired from Test cricket. So, let’s just leave it to him to decide when he wants to call it quits.