Manoj Tiwary says he is ready to deliver for India

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2007, 4:42 [IST]
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Kolkata:Bengal dasher Manoj Tiwary, who has often been seen as the last man standing in the Bengal ranks, says he is ready to deliver for his country and cement his place in the side after making the cut in the Indian squad for the ODIs against Bangladesh.

''This is perhaps the greatest moment of my life. Every youngstar who picks up the bat for the first time dreams of wearing the country's colours. It's a great moment for me, '' he said.

''The feeling is just seeping in. I know I will have a role to play in the absence of seniors in the side. And I would like to seize this opportunity and do well. I am ready to deliver, '' Manoj, who began his career with Belgachia Sporting, said.

With Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly being rested for the ODIs, the young guns will have to bear the burden of the middle order on their shoulders.

''I hope this will not be a one series for me. I will bat well enough to seal a place in the side. I am confident of doing well,'' he said with the same swagger with which he slays his opponents on the 22-yards.

''I have always thought I had a chance and I have been watching the Bangladesh side closely during this World Cup. I am making my little preparation, '' he said as an every thinking cricketer should.

In January Manoj was drafted into the India ODI side as the 12th man agaisnt the tour opener at Eden Gardens against Sri Lanka.

Manoj has an average of 96 this Ranji season and is the highest scorer for Bengal in a Ranji season, beating that of Arun Lal, set in 1993-94.

Two innings stand out this season. His 151 against Karnataka in the semi-final at Eden Gardens followed a first-innings duck and was made under serious pressure after Bengal had let a first-innings advantage slip while chasing 307 on the last day.

He has also hit a double-century to bat Mumbai out of the league game in Kolkata, allowing Bengal, for the first time in their Ranji Trophy history, to inflict a follow-on on Mumbai.

The player is a sheer attacker. He loves to score fast and attack the best bowler of the opposition. When Tiwary hits a ball it stays hit, when he defends even then there is an element of arrogance in it.

Whatever he does, he seems to know what he's doing.

''I am planning my own game against Bangladesh,'' said Manoj.

There are no half-measures, no lack of clarity. He's aware of his technical limitations and makes no bones about it. He likes to score quickly, but doesn't stick to the book. He's not wary of taking the aerial route, yet there's is no recklessness in his batting.

The boyish look and steely resolve hides his eagerness to perform. His captaincy for India-A and U-19 Bengal team has also worked wonders.

In the Ranji final his valiant and cocky 94 left the job incomplete as Mumbai took the trophy, but nothing could be more rewarding for his efforts than this call-up.

Manoj played for Customs, Kalighat and Sporting Union before appearing for Bengal Ranji side two seasons back.


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