Manoj Tiwary: I have a point to prove after IPL snub

Manoj Tiwary talks about the disappointment at a lack of recognition and the dream he has had ever since he started playing cricket.

Manoj Tiwary is focused on scoring runs consistently.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Manoj Tiwary, the India international and Bengal skipper, feels like he is stuck in a rut. In a conversation with Sportstar, Tiwary expressed his disappointment at not being selected in the IPL, and Bengal's domestic season, among other things.

What is the reason behind Bengal's inconsistent run this season?

The problem is our batting is not clicking against the good teams. That is because a lot of our players are young and inexperienced. So, at times they play rash shots and get out. Having said that, I too haven't been able to take the team home. Bowling has been good in patches, our fielding has improved too but we need to up the bar.

Is the state producing enough quality players at the age-group levels?

It is not like players are not coming up. A lot of the boys playing for Bengal have come through the ranks having represented the state and even India under -19 teams but the desire to win needs to improve ... the potential is there but we tend to stagnate at some point.  Individual growth as players holds the key.

How disappointing was the snub at the IPL auction?

I have a point to prove to those who did not pick me in the IPL this year. But that won't be at the expense of my team. If my side needs me to anchor the innings and in doing so, if my strike-rate takes a hit, I don't mind that at all.

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Last year in the IPL, I didn't get much game time with the Kings XI. And the year before that,  I had an outstanding 2017 with Rising Pune [Supergiant]. I won the most number of FBB awards [for the most stylish player] with Gautam Gambhir, and I was one of the top performers in my team. Last IPL, for Kings XI, I was the second highest run-scorer (35) after Karun Nair (54) in a must-win game [Punjab lost ] against CSK in Pune.

I don't know what else I need to do. That said, my career won't be defined by how many runs I score in the IPL or the number of matches I play for India. It's the consistency that I am aiming for and the selectors should understand that.

With the season drawing to a close, what's next for you? 

Ever since I started playing cricket, I have dreamt of only two things - playing for India and winning the Ranji Trophy for Bengal. So next season, if they retain me as the skipper, then as the captain otherwise as a player, I want to win the silverware. There's so much negativity around me. I always get the vibe that people are just waiting for me to fail so that they can start pointing fingers at me.