Indian batter Manoj Tiwary has hinted that the ongoing 2022-23 season of Ranji Trophy could be his final one in first-class cricket, but he wants to make sure to give Bengal a Ranji Trophy title on his “way out”.
Tiwari is currently leading Bengal as the regular skipper Abhimanyu Easwaran is on national duty. He is leading the side from the front, winning their Elite A Group match against Uttar Pradesh at Eden Gardens by six wickets. Tiwary ended up with an unbeaten 60 in the match.
“We have to play like champions. We won today, but it is not like we played exceptional cricket. If we look session-by-session, there were phases when we bowled badly. And our opening batters must score runs. If we want to win the Ranji Trophy, we must take our game to the next level,” ESPNCricinfo quoted Tiwary as saying.
Bengal has won two Ranji Trophy titles, back in 1938-39 and then in 1989-90. Tiwary made his first-class cricket debut in 2004-05 season. He has been a part of Ranji final thrice, in 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2019-20.
Manoj Tiwari has represented India in 12 ODIs, in which he has scored 287 runs with one century and fifty. He has also played three T20Is in which he has scored 15 runs.
“I am quite relaxed about leading the team,” said the 37-year-old veteran. “When I stepped down as the first-class captain of Bengal [during the 2018-19 season], I was told to continue as captain of the one-day and T20 sides, but I had refused, telling them that we need to groom a younger player as captain. But (in Abhimanyu’s absence), I realised I have to take this responsibility because decision-making is such a crucial part of the game,” he added.
Though he did ask for more from the bowling unit – which was missing Mukesh Kumar, who was out in Bangladesh with India A – Tiwary had words of praise for his pace spearhead Ishan Porel, who hasn’t played a lot of cricket of late but earned the Player-of-the-Match award against Uttar Pradesh for his match haul of seven wickets, including a five-for in the first innings.
“Porel’s comeback has been quite good,” Tiwary said. “He wasn’t available for the Vijay Hazare [50-over] Trophy tournament, but he proved his worth here. I have spoken to him: we are playing at a level where we must forget what has happened in the past; every minute, every second, we must tell the world why I am Ishan Porel, or why I am Manoj Tiwary. That is the mentality that will help him become a champion.”
Bengal’s next game is against Himachal Pradesh, also at home at Eden Gardens, from December 20. (ANI)
This report is filed by ANI news service. TheNewsMill holds no responsibility for this content.