Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary has vented out his frustration after not being picked in any of the six squads named by the BCCI last week for three upcoming competitions.
Despite the record-breaking domestic season in which Tiwary recorded the highest average (126.75) in List A cricket in a season with 507 runs, he was overlooked for the India A squads to play four-day matches versus South Africa A, a quadrangular series featuring South Africa A, Australia A and two Indian teams as well as the Duleep Trophy.
“I was hoping to be picked in the India A squads. When somebody performs to his highest, then he should be rewarded. And I had an outstanding 50-over tournament last season, creating a record that no one else has had in Indian cricket history,” Tiwary told ESPNCricinfo.
Besides registering the highest List A average by an Indian batsman in a domestic season, Manoj Tiwary also accomplished two rare feats in the last season – an average of over 100 in the prestigious Vijay Hazare Trophy and Deodhar Trophy.
Disappointed with the selectors’ decision, Tiwary, on Monday (July 23) took to Twitter and enquired about his mind-boggling performances with the veteran statistician, Mohandas Menon.
How many batsmen are there in the history of Indian cricket who has an average of 100 plus in the Vijay Hazare and Deodhar trophy both in the same year ??— MANOJ TIWARY (@tiwarymanoj) July 23, 2018
Could not locate any other instance. But this could interest u..— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) July 24, 2018
High batg ave in List A domestic season
(min 400 runs)
126.75 M Tiwary (Ben,IndB) 507runs 2017/18
114.40 M Manhas (Del,NZo) 572r 2005/06
110.50 I Jaggi (Jhar,EZo) 442r 2008/09
109.75 VKambli (Mum,WZo) 439r 2001/02
Having made his international debut in 2008, Tiwary has represented India in 12 ODIs and 3 T20Is thus far. In spite of his match-winning ODI ton against West Indies in 2012, Manoj was never given a consistent run to prove his mettle.
Talking about his stop-start India career, Tiwary said: “Although I have matured as a cricketer, as an individual, those experiences have stuck with me. After scoring a hundred for India, I was out of the playing XI for 14 games. That’s also understandable because it’s the India team. But you do get frustrated. I’m human too.”
“It was a team decision and I accept it, but I cannot forget that. I cannot recollect anyone scoring a 100 and getting dropped. I was one of them. So when you get ignored after a good season of cricket once again, all those past memories come back to your mind. And you cannot control the thoughts in your mind. It comes back to you even if you want to push it away,” he explained.
Tiwary also drew parallels with former India captain MS Dhoni who led Chennai Super Kings to a third IPL title this year six weeks before his 37th birthday. He also hoped to hear from the BCCI selectors as to why he was repeatedly ignored.
When asked if the BCCI are now focusing on to give chances to the young cricketers, Tiwary gave the example of veteran India wicketkeeper batsman MS Dhoni, who led Chennai Super Kings to a third IPL title earlier this year.
“Everybody in the world knows, age is just a number. At the age of 32 to get cornered for age – that should not be the reason. Everybody heard MS Dhoni’s response to the average age of the Chennai franchise in the IPL. He looked at a player and assessed whether he was quick in the field, whether he has ball sense and if he has agility. That’s how players should be looked at. And as far as fitness is concerned, I’m always up there. I don’t know what more I have to do, there is no clarity from the selectors. And I would love to hear from them. If I can get to know what the parameters are, then obviously I will plan accordingly,” he asserted.
The 32-year-old Tiwary still remains hopeful of India comeback and is currently looking for an opportunity to play for India A under the mentorship of legendary Rahul Dravid.
“Even I have a dream to play for India, and the only way forward is step by step. I’ve never got an opportunity to play under Rahul bhai, so I wanted an opportunity, to be honest. It’s difficult to make it to the senior team right now, but every time India A plays, it’s important because it allows players the opportunity to go to the next level. But I would really love to hear from the people who are overlooking me. I can’t recollect the last time the selectors spoke to me,” he said.
“As a cricketer, we work so hard pre-season for what? To win championships, to be recognised and rewarded, and you know how tough it is to perform at an average of over 100 in both List-A formats, it’s not possible every year. I will try my best to replicate that, but it’s very difficult,” Tiwary concluded.