Indian Premier League 2011 April 8, 2011

Manoj Tiwary aims to step up for Kolkata

ESPNcricinfo staff

Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary has said he'll be aiming for match-winning performances in the IPL this year, while his franchise, Kolkata Knight Riders - who are coming off three poor seasons - will be concentrating on making it past the group stage before thinking of a maiden title.

"We have a new team and a new captain [Gautam Gambhir]. Our first goal would be qualify for the semis and then take the final two steps," Tiwary told the Times of India. "Personally, I would be looking to score consistently and I'm targeting four or five Man-of-the-Match awards."

Tiwary captained Bengal to victory in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy - India's domestic Twenty20 competition - this year. He played for Delhi Daredevils in the first two IPL seasons, before moving Kolkata in 2010 and will provide the main local connect for fans in the absence of Sourav Ganguly.

"To be honest, I didn't have a proper feel of the IPL in the first two seasons. In my first season with the Delhi Daredevils, I batted in the middle order where opportunities were rather limited - with Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Shikhar Dhawan in top form, the lower order didn't have much to do," he said. "In the second season, in South Africa, I got injured after playing just one match and didn't play thereafter.

"It was only after I moved to Kolkata Knight Riders in 2010 that I got a real feel of the competition. I learnt a lot about batting in T20 cricket from Brad Hodge."

Though predominantly a batsman and an agile fielder, Tiwary has filled the role of a handy part-time bowler on the domestic circuit and this is an aspect of his game he'll be looking to further during the IPL. "I would be looking to contribute substantially in all three departments of the game." In a Kolkata practice match earlier this week, Tiwary made 86 off 44 balls batting at No. 3, but he's not certain of where he will bat in the line-up.

"I was asked to open the innings [in 2010] which I was not accustomed to doing, but I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge. It [opening the batting this season] depends on the role assigned to me by the team management."

The entry of Yusuf Pathan and Brett Lee gives the new-look Kolkata side an edge, Tiwary said. "We have a very balanced side [this year] and can go all the way. L Balaji is a very effective bowler in T20, while [Jaidev] Unadkat is quite sharp. And I am looking forward to playing alongside [Jacques] Kallis, [Brad] Haddin, [Eoin] Morgan, Shakib [Al Hasan] and [Ryan] ten Doeschate."

Kolkata take on Chennai Super Kings in the opening IPL match, on April 8 in Chennai.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • VaRUN on April 8, 2011, 22:59 GMT

    Do any of the Mumbaikars know why the hell doesn't Ajinka Rahane feature anywhere? Domestic average of 69 ?

  • sunil on April 8, 2011, 20:57 GMT

    Quite a few comments criticizing Tiwary's interest in MoMs below . To be fair to him , MoMs are given to players who play the biggest role in helping a team win ( usually ) . Thats exactly what all players strive for , isn't it ?

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 20:03 GMT

    Manoj Tiwary must be kicking himself -the MOM award was all his,(Jonathan Amler must be chuckling )if he hadn't got carried away after clearing the ropes in two successive balls.9 runs in 8 balls was definitely possible for the 2 set batsmen.Tiwary,Shukla-the two Kolkata based boys would've been heroes in their hometown but sadly that was not to be. Certainly Philip Zacharia proved to be absolutely correct in commenting about Manoj's shot selection and it's strange to hear a sportsman targeting MOM awards,anyway.

  • Subha on April 8, 2011, 19:53 GMT

    @Ska....well Manoj was at the top of the bill within the group of Raina, Rohit etc.. unfortunately he couldn't make the most of the opportunity he got, first by injuring himself and then rather harshly put infront of the pace of Brett Lee within 24 hours of arriving in Australia. I agree, playing cricket at the highest level is such that if you can't grab the only opportunity that come your way you are not good enough to be there!!! Tough world!!!!

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 19:49 GMT

    hey all u people who r tryin 2 belittle da guy...jus giv him a chance 2 prove his words and worth in da team..

  • S on April 8, 2011, 18:31 GMT

    I was surprising to read that Manoj takes the field thinking about MOM awards! I can't remember if I have ever heard anyone setting such a goal. Sachin's standard response to MOMs, and he's got a bucket of those, is "glad that it helped the team win." I am worried that Manoj may have his priorities in the wrong place, and he doesn't know it. Someone has to show him the light.

  • Animesh on April 8, 2011, 18:09 GMT

    Well Mr. Tiwari. One more boundary and you would have had your first MoM award and win for KKR. Dont lose heart and keep trying.

  • Abhishek on April 8, 2011, 17:47 GMT

    And the first match shows Tiwari's fallacy. The boy's undoubtedly got talent but he does need to go a long way to learn about temperament and pressure handling. Poeple here are spot on pointing out that its the contribution that should be targeted- not the MoMs!

  • Dummy4 on April 8, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    i love this...............................

  • Sharad on April 8, 2011, 11:48 GMT

    @Jonathan - Agreed. It's a team game for crying out loud. Ever hear a top player talk about MOM awards? No, all they talk about is "CONTRIBUTION" towards victory ... that's the attitude. But, I suppose everyone's got their own way of lifting themselves. If MOM motivates Manoj, so be it. I've never seen him perform good (let alone half decent); would like to.

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