It’s not always prudent to treat a game as a matter of life and death, but the sight of Manoj Tiwary using his bat like a rapier when it mattered most against the Kings XI Punjab must have made for some reassuring viewing for Shah Rukh Khan, the co-owner of the KKR, on Saturday.
Neglected and injured in the two seasons he spent with the Delhi Daredevils, the Bengal batsman shifted to Kolkata this year as a ‘free transfer’ with a pay cut just for the assurance that he would get chances. Two MoM awards in five appearances suggest the move was wise.
Monday’s game against the Daredevils is going to be a big one for Tiwary but he isn't showing it. "It's important but not special. I had been with the Daredevils for two years. I want to keep up the good work but know that I’ll start from zero,” Tiwary told HT on Sunday. Although he hasn’t watched recordings of what the Delhi bowlers have done this season yet, he knows what to expect. “I’ve played them at the nets. It all comes down to how you execute your plans in the middle.” Tiwary opened in the first four games for KKR, was dropped in the fifth before coming in at No. 4 against Kings XI.
“Yesterday, I was told to take time and build a partnership. While opening, the plan was to get as many fours as possible in the first six overs. I can have a new role tomorrow, but there is one basic rule: The strike rate has to be around 130-135.”
After a solitary ODI appearance against Australia in February 2008, Tiwary has been in the wilderness. He looks hungry to shine for the Knights to ride his way back into the reckoning.