Sri Lanka v India, only Twenty20, Pallekele August 6, 2012

Tiwary reveals difficult bench days

36

No one expected Manoj Tiwary to walk in for the pre-match press conference ahead of the solitary Twenty20 international. Once he arrived, it was to be expected that he would be asked more questions about how he handled his long spell on the bench than about tomorrow's game. Tiwary did not disappoint. He spoke frankly but not bitterly, clearly but not with hurt. He spoke about how difficult a time it was, how he had kept himself motivated by watching videos of other sportspersons, and how, on getting two chances after 14 games, he had made them count with a half-century in the fifth ODI.

"It was not very easy when I got an opportunity to play after sitting out for so many days," Tiwary said. "My focus was on how I can improve my game during practice sessions and be ready since I knew that someday I will get a chance to play. The effort was to maintain a good mindset. It is not always easy [to do that]."

Tiwary used the word "mindset" a lot, saying that his focus was on being in the proper frame of mind. He could have easily lost his confidence after being ignored in favour of Rohit Sharma, despite the latter's lack of runs, despite the former's century in his previous ODI before this series.

"Those who play in the first XI get more practice during the practice sessions so at that time it is a bit difficult to maintain your mindset," Tiwary said, and got a surprised stare from the team's media manager, as if he had let out a state secret. "It is important to be ready because these days the competition is so much that the moment you get an opportunity you have to grab it. I used to always focus on maintaining the right frame of mind and not lose my self-confidence and self-belief during that process. That was the preparation and the self-belief that helped me perform.

"Whenever I think about all these things like not playing, not getting an opportunity despite scoring a hundred I just analyse myself [and] as the days pass by you tend to improve mentally and you get experienced. When you look around, when you travel with the Indian team, sit with them, when you follow so much of cricket with so many things happening in front of you, you know how to deal with situations each day."

Tiwary had to keep himself motivated through each day of practice, through each day spent travelling around the globe without knowing when he would get a game. "My family has been supportive of me and my coach and some friends as well. I watch a lot of motivational videos from all sports and by looking at them I do get pumped up at times and it keeps my mind in the right frame. I always wanted to contribute to the team in the way other athletes around the world have in tough situations."

When the opportunity finally came, he found himself walking into tough situations as well. India were 60 for 3 and 87 for 3 when Tiwary came in, and on both occasions, he did not let the innings meander, making 21 off 38 and 65 off 68. He could not have been faulted had he batted for his place in the XI, but, to his credit, he didn't.

"The mindset was to stay positive. When a player is playing after a long time there is pressure to perform and plus the situation on the ground and the conditions [have to be taken into account] so you have to build the innings accordingly. I had it at the back of my mind that no matter what, I have to play according to the situation and if I get out while playing positively then no problem. The team and its requirement come first."

Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on August 9, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Manoj tiwari shold be given chance to play in the main XI in the test serieses, he has waited for too long, talent is of no use when not shown at the right time, its the performance that should be considered and given importance over talent!!

  • wolf777 on August 8, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    I am tired of hearing 'No one should question Rohit's talent' or 'talented Rohit Sharma'…he has been given enough chances to prove his talent and has been a consistent failure barring a series or two. The real talent is to score runs and all the talent NOHIT has got is to look elegant while playing shots. All Nohit Sharma is a cheap imitation of Inzamam-ul-Haq. Looks shiny and tempting; but, fails to work.

  • veerakannadiga on August 8, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    The big question is " can he play real fast bowling on green pitches?" He appears very cool headed,fine, but is he really good outside his comfort zone?

  • ultimatewarrior on August 7, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    i guess dropping and picking policy of team management should be changed...instead of giving one player 50+ chances and another player 1-5 chances, they should give 10 chances to a preferred player and at least 3 chances to not so preferred player to make comparison...this test can be repeated for 2-3 times and if no player is able to give a standout performance both players should be changed.....i think after testing player for 100 chances without any standout performance he becomes liability and very hard on a benched players and that is happened with r jadeja, r sharma, pathan bros, raina and more...

  • on August 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    India should give chance to Sohrab Tiwary as well, he is also promising youngster and great fighter.

  • on August 7, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Manoj really a far better player than Rohit in terms of consistency. In any sport result is important rather than how much talent you have. it doesn't have any sense if you have a immense talent but fail to prove. MSD tried his best to save Rohit it doesn't help much to both Indian team as well as Rohit. Rohit needs to go back to first class level prove something before he gave another opportunity.

  • Rudrajit on August 7, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    I don't think anyone in the history of Indian cricket has been given as many chances as Rohit. I agree that Rohit has the talent and looks good playing shots too, but in the international arena you need hardwork and mental strength, of which Rohit has none. This actually proves that regionalism is still rampant in India. Poor selection policy.

  • on August 7, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Rohit is not in the good form but one should not question his ability. No other cricketer has scored 21 runs (3 TIMES) in the last over and win the match for his team. I have never seen any Indian dominating Australian bowling attack comprising (Tait, Nannes, Watson and Johnson) like rohit did in T20 world cup match on BOUNCY West Indian pitches. In first T20 world cup, he scored valuable 50 runs against SA in the match which was a knockout game. Also in the T20 world cup final against pakistan, he scored 30 runs in the last 2 overs & took india to 158.

  • on August 7, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Manoj Proved him In batting, Bowling and also fielding...:) He know the worth of Opportunity now.. But its a time for Rohit Sharma to know the worth of Opportunity.. He must sit in the bench in every tour and bring cool drinks for Manoj..

  • Dalajit on August 7, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    What team management is talking about talent & talent of Rohit...what you would with talent only when you get 5 consecutive games in a series and a chance to score a century in every match with the kind of overs left, and then scored only 14 runs in 5 innings. He feels like an only talented player in India who can't be replaced (as suggested by Indian Team management). Why to give a player so many chances in international stage when there are so many players are waiting to get a single chance to prove themselves. If they would give another chance to Rohit in T20 also, then he would never learn from his mistake and can never improve his game. So, give chances to some new players who has played well in IPL instead of Rohit. Let him make his own way to return to Indian team not a cakewalk like this series.

  • on August 9, 2012, 11:15 GMT

    Manoj tiwari shold be given chance to play in the main XI in the test serieses, he has waited for too long, talent is of no use when not shown at the right time, its the performance that should be considered and given importance over talent!!

  • wolf777 on August 8, 2012, 13:59 GMT

    I am tired of hearing 'No one should question Rohit's talent' or 'talented Rohit Sharma'…he has been given enough chances to prove his talent and has been a consistent failure barring a series or two. The real talent is to score runs and all the talent NOHIT has got is to look elegant while playing shots. All Nohit Sharma is a cheap imitation of Inzamam-ul-Haq. Looks shiny and tempting; but, fails to work.

  • veerakannadiga on August 8, 2012, 6:18 GMT

    The big question is " can he play real fast bowling on green pitches?" He appears very cool headed,fine, but is he really good outside his comfort zone?

  • ultimatewarrior on August 7, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    i guess dropping and picking policy of team management should be changed...instead of giving one player 50+ chances and another player 1-5 chances, they should give 10 chances to a preferred player and at least 3 chances to not so preferred player to make comparison...this test can be repeated for 2-3 times and if no player is able to give a standout performance both players should be changed.....i think after testing player for 100 chances without any standout performance he becomes liability and very hard on a benched players and that is happened with r jadeja, r sharma, pathan bros, raina and more...

  • on August 7, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    India should give chance to Sohrab Tiwary as well, he is also promising youngster and great fighter.

  • on August 7, 2012, 12:40 GMT

    Manoj really a far better player than Rohit in terms of consistency. In any sport result is important rather than how much talent you have. it doesn't have any sense if you have a immense talent but fail to prove. MSD tried his best to save Rohit it doesn't help much to both Indian team as well as Rohit. Rohit needs to go back to first class level prove something before he gave another opportunity.

  • Rudrajit on August 7, 2012, 12:08 GMT

    I don't think anyone in the history of Indian cricket has been given as many chances as Rohit. I agree that Rohit has the talent and looks good playing shots too, but in the international arena you need hardwork and mental strength, of which Rohit has none. This actually proves that regionalism is still rampant in India. Poor selection policy.

  • on August 7, 2012, 11:53 GMT

    Rohit is not in the good form but one should not question his ability. No other cricketer has scored 21 runs (3 TIMES) in the last over and win the match for his team. I have never seen any Indian dominating Australian bowling attack comprising (Tait, Nannes, Watson and Johnson) like rohit did in T20 world cup match on BOUNCY West Indian pitches. In first T20 world cup, he scored valuable 50 runs against SA in the match which was a knockout game. Also in the T20 world cup final against pakistan, he scored 30 runs in the last 2 overs & took india to 158.

  • on August 7, 2012, 11:26 GMT

    Manoj Proved him In batting, Bowling and also fielding...:) He know the worth of Opportunity now.. But its a time for Rohit Sharma to know the worth of Opportunity.. He must sit in the bench in every tour and bring cool drinks for Manoj..

  • Dalajit on August 7, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    What team management is talking about talent & talent of Rohit...what you would with talent only when you get 5 consecutive games in a series and a chance to score a century in every match with the kind of overs left, and then scored only 14 runs in 5 innings. He feels like an only talented player in India who can't be replaced (as suggested by Indian Team management). Why to give a player so many chances in international stage when there are so many players are waiting to get a single chance to prove themselves. If they would give another chance to Rohit in T20 also, then he would never learn from his mistake and can never improve his game. So, give chances to some new players who has played well in IPL instead of Rohit. Let him make his own way to return to Indian team not a cakewalk like this series.

  • Pranav09 on August 7, 2012, 10:46 GMT

    Well Done, Manoj! I feel Rohit Sharma is getting WAY too many chances to prove himself... Greg Chappell once said that Sharma is more talented than Kohli... But sometimes, talent is not everything. You need to work hard as well. Rohit should learn consistency from Virat Kohli... Sharma has just scored in Dead Rubber pitches, but Kohli has scored a hundred in Australia.Tiwary has proved that he had a positive mindset, as even after getting benched for 14 games, he proved his worth in the next two...

  • on August 7, 2012, 8:41 GMT

    @ rustyryan Thankfully he is nowhere near the class of Nohit useless Sharma. Or else he would have been useless too

  • on August 7, 2012, 8:30 GMT

    saurav ganguly was also in same condition .......waiting 4 long year to make a comeback to the team...after the debut...

  • mrm2011in on August 7, 2012, 8:01 GMT

    @rustyryan YES WE SAW ALL ABOUT ROHIT..ATLEAST TIWARY MADE RUNS IN DEAD RUBBER BUT ROHIT FAILED EVEN IN THAT DEAD RUBBER....ROBIN UTHAPPA IS REAL TALENTED BATSMAN AND NOT OVERRATED ROHIT WHO CAN ONLY PLAY AGAINST POOR WEST INDIES PART TIME MEDIUM BOWLERS ..

  • satish619chandar on August 7, 2012, 5:54 GMT

    Ay team need such guys.. To be in backseat and enjoy the proceedings but contributing to the team.. Still, he need to improve much to be on par with other developing potentials.. It is a good start for him and it is upto him to capitalise on that..

  • Amar_Teddy on August 7, 2012, 5:00 GMT

    If you want motivation to do well, please watch the post match press briefing of Buff Lehmann after the KKR DC game this year..he said Manoj is an easy prey and will be found out..Want him to do well atleast to prove him wrong..For players like Manoj and Suresh( to some extent) sub continental batting is easier..However, overseas( except WI) an out of form Rohit "can" also turn out to be better picks than Manoj...Although it is a T20 eagerly looking forward to the CLT20 in South Africa to see how Rohit v Manoj goes ( as India don have an overseas tour for some time).

  • jimbond on August 7, 2012, 4:46 GMT

    Tiwary needs to sort out his problems with the short ball (not that other Indian batsmen like Raina or Rohit Sharma or Yusuf Pathan are immune to it) if he is to establish himself as a long term prospect. Now that two bouncers per over are allowed in ODIs, more bowlers are going to make use of it. Even in ODIs, I would prefer someone like Pujara or Badrinath, or Rahane to those named above.

  • rustyryan on August 7, 2012, 4:02 GMT

    Tiwar is a one-match wonder. All the runs he scored was in the dead rubber. He is nowhere in the class of Rohit Sharma. Even jus two series before, Rohit played vital innings under pressure and won two man of the series. Its pity that Rohit has lost all his confidence because of speculative media who never give him a break.

  • satish619chandar on August 7, 2012, 3:35 GMT

    More than bench, i would be terming it as transition.. Guys in bench can learn more than what they learn while playing.. Saw it with the likes of Duminy workuing wonders in Australia test series..

  • on August 7, 2012, 2:52 GMT

    Tiwary should be dropped for atleast 14 matches after his first failure comes

  • cricket-is-best on August 7, 2012, 2:36 GMT

    More than manoj deserving a place,its rohit deserving to be shown the door.just for the sake of letting him know that road to playing for india is not a cakewalk.there are many hardworking players like manoj,rayudu,rahane etc etc.get any one of them.bt drop this rohit.he should toil to make his way.all these talk of talent is rubbish.barring sehwag,there is nobody in indian history calld pure talent.(sehwag's awesome statistics prove that).bt even he has lost his way because of lack of hardwork and application.havin said sn,rohit is not even one-tenth of sehwag's talent,to get a place on that merit.he requires the other aspects.

  • on August 7, 2012, 2:03 GMT

    Manoj, i hope you have learnt from your mistakes and this long benching has shaped you in right frame of mind. I hated your attitude while you bowled consecutive 3 leg side wide (3*5- 15 runs)deliveries (intentionally) to deny Bardrinath (94 not out) well deserved 100 in tricky chase few years back ( Ranji Trophy knock outs) and may be you cost him his place in Indian side too.

    From your experience, i have learnt many things. Hope you too have learnt. All the best for your future.

  • Nampally on August 7, 2012, 0:35 GMT

    Bravo,Manoj Tiwary. Any other lesser guy would have been devastated & bitter after being benched 14 times! Even after scoring a century it is tough to hear that you are not in the XI. Rahane, Tiwary & Rahul Sharma are the most benched Cricketers in all the Major Cricketing Nations. If a player is selected in the squad by the Indian team Selectors, surely they have been trusted as worthy to be in XI -not on the bench- Surely Not so consistently & so often- reflects badly on the Team Captain. I have mentioned this many times in my inputs to Cricinfo because I feel sad. All Youngsters must be rewarded whether they have a God Father or Not. Tendulkar & Gavaskar would never have played at the age of <18 if the Selectors & the Captain in that era had the same mind set as those who select the XI these days. I am also concerned about the future of other young talented batsmen like C.Pujara, V.Zol & U.Chand.

  • Naresh28 on August 6, 2012, 22:55 GMT

    Tiwari has done well in the few opportunities he got. He is a good fielder and shows gutsy characteristics. The only reason he was kept on the bench is the limited places in the team. Once Sachin, laxman, Shewag retire due to aging, he will get more chances.

  • SanjivAwesome on August 6, 2012, 20:03 GMT

    His good attitude will serve him well. I can see him going far.

  • Alexk400 on August 6, 2012, 19:25 GMT

    Tiwari is good productive player. Do not expect him to win games. Thats not in his mojo.

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    Rohith was really good player...but right now i dont think he is of right mind set...given few more chances he might click but at the cost of players like Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane?? thats like playing a gamble where you know that you cannot win but still playing to satisfy the spite..!! and these are not old days where one person can be given many chances even though he is failing continuously....!! Tiwary needs to be given chances regularly because as far as anyone can tell 21, 65 are better than 2, 3 ,0

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Who ever bring mindset in the game of cricket is always successful at the end...

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Well done Monoj.I think,you will be given chances to play in T20 WC with Yuvraj and Rohit will be dropped from squad.

  • jiturocks on August 6, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Go on Tiwary perform like this.no one can stop u frm being on playing xi in wc15

  • on August 6, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    rohit is getting too many chances....whereas equally talented players like monoj,rahane is contiously overlooked.. i hop c.pujara gets the nod ahead of rohit for the test seies

  • on August 6, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Manoj has done decent job and he deserve his place in playing XI and as far as Rohit is concerned, selectors should send him to Ranji cricket to prove his form(not IPL).

  • sumit176 on August 6, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    well monoj...dont dwell on past...now u got the opportunity ,hope u will perform great as u did in last odi,,,all the best

  • on August 6, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Manoj tiwary is like Md. Kaif ...

  • on August 6, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    as long as Pawar is there, Rohit keeps getting the offers

  • street_smart on August 6, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Well done Manoj. Keep up the good hard work.

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  • street_smart on August 6, 2012, 16:01 GMT

    Well done Manoj. Keep up the good hard work.

  • on August 6, 2012, 16:44 GMT

    as long as Pawar is there, Rohit keeps getting the offers

  • on August 6, 2012, 16:58 GMT

    Manoj tiwary is like Md. Kaif ...

  • sumit176 on August 6, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    well monoj...dont dwell on past...now u got the opportunity ,hope u will perform great as u did in last odi,,,all the best

  • on August 6, 2012, 17:43 GMT

    Manoj has done decent job and he deserve his place in playing XI and as far as Rohit is concerned, selectors should send him to Ranji cricket to prove his form(not IPL).

  • on August 6, 2012, 18:05 GMT

    rohit is getting too many chances....whereas equally talented players like monoj,rahane is contiously overlooked.. i hop c.pujara gets the nod ahead of rohit for the test seies

  • jiturocks on August 6, 2012, 18:53 GMT

    Go on Tiwary perform like this.no one can stop u frm being on playing xi in wc15

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:00 GMT

    Well done Monoj.I think,you will be given chances to play in T20 WC with Yuvraj and Rohit will be dropped from squad.

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:06 GMT

    Who ever bring mindset in the game of cricket is always successful at the end...

  • on August 6, 2012, 19:11 GMT

    Rohith was really good player...but right now i dont think he is of right mind set...given few more chances he might click but at the cost of players like Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane?? thats like playing a gamble where you know that you cannot win but still playing to satisfy the spite..!! and these are not old days where one person can be given many chances even though he is failing continuously....!! Tiwary needs to be given chances regularly because as far as anyone can tell 21, 65 are better than 2, 3 ,0