Ranji Trophy | A memorable innings from Tiwary

Counter-attack: Manoj Tiwary’s unbeaten 156, definitely shifted the match in Bengal’s favour. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

Counter-attack: Manoj Tiwary’s unbeaten 156, definitely shifted the match in Bengal’s favour. File Photo: Rajeev Bhatt  

The Bengal batsman is Indian cricket’s forgotten player

Manoj Tiwary can bat. If anyone had forgotten that, he served a reminder on Monday.

His unbeaten 303 against Hyderabad in Bengal’s Ranji Trophy match ought to be one of the finest innings of the season. The timing, the gorgeous drives, the clean hits over the rope, the technique and the ability to shift gears effortlessly… it was just great batting.

After watching him, you would have agreed totally with Bengal coach Arun Lal’s words at the end of the second day’s play at the Bengal Cricket Academy ground. “He should have played many more games for India,” said the former Test opener.

Tiwary has played 12 ODIs and three T20Is. The last time he played for India was in 2015.

His finest hour had come four years earlier. He had made 104 (retired hurt) against the West Indies in Chennai and was Man-of-the-Match in India’s 34-run victory.

But, he wasn’t selected for the following 14 matches of the Men in Blue. True, the problem with India’s batting is one of plenty. Yet, a batsman of his calibre deserved a better deal. He may be 34, but his batting is in supreme touch and he is quite fit.

“Right now the way the Indian team is, it is difficult,” said Tiwary, who has now 8752 First Class runs at an average of 51.79, with 27 hundreds. “But you never know what’s going to happen.”

Best knock

The triple hundred, he said, was the best innings of his life after the ODI century. “The thought of a making a triple had crossed my mind after many people messaged me at the end of the second day (when I was 156 not out),” he said.

“I want to thank my personal coach Manabendra Ghosh, who has always helped improve my skills.”

He said he didn’t regret that he could not get enough time to have a go at the record for the highest score by a Bengal batsman. Devang Gandhi had made 323 against Assam in 1998-99.

The two had featured in an incident last month. Gandhi, now a National selector, was evicted from Bengal’s dressing room following a complaint from Tiwary to the BCCI’s anti-corruption officials during the Ranji match against Andhra at the Eden Gardens.

“I will have my chances later,” said Tiwary smiling. “Let him be happy now.”

Like his batting form, his sense of humour too is very much intact.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 8:32:42 PM |

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